SPONSORED:

Study: As many as 480M animals in Australian state may be affected by wildfires

Study: As many as 480M animals in Australian state may be affected by wildfires
© Getty Images

Researchers say that the wildfires wreaking havoc in Australia may have impacted nearly a half a billion animals in just one state alone.

"Approximately 480 million have been affected in New South Wales," University of Sydney professor Chris Dickman recently told 7NEWS.com.au, citing a university analysis.

"That's not to say that the 480 million have all died as a consequence of the fires because some things are going to be mobile — birds will fly away and come back," Dickman added. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Some reptiles, like lizards, would perhaps go underground," he continued. 

Dickman said the impact on Australian wildlife populations would be a long-term problem. 

"There are a lot of people out there helping by going into areas that have been burned to look for koalas and any other native wildlife has been affected," he said. "In the longer term, the rebuilding of populations of many native species is going to be the issue."

Australian Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has said in a recent radio interview that up to 30 percent of the koala population in New South Wales may have been killed in the fires. 

Wildfires have been burning in Australia for months and have killed at least 18 people this season, according to the BBC