Monday, December 11, 2006

Bushfires in Victoria Will Likely Kill Thousands of Wildlife: Koalas, Wallabies and Possums Just a Few of the Type Affected


Wildlife deaths may be in the thousands

THOUSANDS of native animals are expected to perish in the bushfires raging throughout Victoria, a wildlife expert has warned.

Wildlife Victoria president Jon Rowdon said the organisation's volunteers were ready to start rescue operations once the conditions allowed them into affected areas.

While it was too early to estimate how many animals had been killed by the fires, Mr Rowdon said that, on past experience, bushfires of this magnitude killed thousands of animals.

Possums and koalas were the most vulnerable because they were considered the slowest to respond to fires, he said.

Animals not burned to to death faced the prospect of infection, blindness, loss of habitat and lack of food supplies.

The fires add to already difficult conditions for wildlife, including a reduction in food sources from the drought.

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