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3 billion animals killed, displaced in Australian wildfires

3 billion animals killed, displaced in Australian wildfires
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3 billion animals killed, displaced in Australian wildfires

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Nearly three billion animals were killed or displaced during the devastating 2019-20 Australian bushfires, according to a new report issued on Tuesday.

Canberra: Nearly three billion animals were killed or displaced during the devastating 2019-20 Australian bushfires, according to a new report issued on Tuesday.

The findings meant it was one of "worst wildlife disasters in modern history", according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which commissioned the report, the BBC reported.

The mega blazes, which swept across every Australian state, also killing at least 33 people.

Mammals, reptiles, birds and frogs died in the flames or from loss of habitat.

During the peak of the crisis in January, scientists had estimated that 1.25 billion animals had been killed in New South Wales and Victoria alone.

But the new estimate takes in a larger area. About 11.46 million hectares - an area comparable to England - was scorched from last September to this February. "When you think about nearly three billion native animals being in the path of the fires, it is absolutely huge - it's a difficult number to comprehend," the BBC quoted Professor Chris Dickman, who oversaw the project by 10 scientists from Australian universities, as saying.

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