WE have all heard reports that possibly one billion animals died in the recent bushfires and we have all seen the cute pictures of koalas or kangaroo joeys in bandages.
The wildlife carers have worked their hearts out to save as many animals as possible, but many of these animals may not survive in the long term and probably very few will reproduce to keep the species going.
We have all heard at various times that different events have threatened the existence of some species, so that many of us have been dulled into a sense of passive acceptance.
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This time, however, the situation has just become more critical.
Where it has rained, we can already see some plants coming back, although this is mainly just the eucalyptus forest. No-one knows if the ancient areas of rainforest can recover.
Animals that have been killed in the fires, however, can only be replaced by other members of the species moving in from unburnt areas and then slowly breeding up.
I attended a wildlife conference in 1995 and, even then, wildlife vets and zoologists were saying that the numbers of nearly all native animals were decreasing and with the destruction of habitat, local populations were getting more and more isolated into small pockets.
They predicted then that these small populations would become far more susceptible to inbreeding, severe disease outbreaks and catastrophic wildfires.
The fires this past summer have burnt such huge areas that almost all these pockets of habitat have been destroyed.
Not only koalas, but species such as brush tailed rock wallabies, potoroos, greater gliders, spotted tail quolls and platypus (although this may be more due to severe drought conditions) have had their habitats almost completely obliterated and extinction is now a very real threat, not just something that might happen in a few years.
Australia already has a shocking record for animal extinctions, but it would just be a tragedy if these other iconic species were to disappear in our lifetimes, mainly due to human mismanagement, feral animals, apathy, and greed in rampant land clearing and failures to act on climate change.
I was absolutely shocked to see a YouTube video of logging restarting in the Styx River State Forest near Coffs Harbour.
In one of the very few bits of native animal habitat left, they were ripping out the trees, churning up the land and leaving a huge amount of leaf trash and branches on the ground, creating more fuel for further fires.
Actions like these are threatening Australia`s unique wildlife and destroying our heritage.
I know these people have jobs in the timber industry, but nowadays all us should carefully consider how much damage our jobs and other pastimes are doing to the world in which we live.