An estimated 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been killed in the wildfires in New South Wales since September, according to experts at the University of Sydney, but the real animal death toll is likely much higher.
So far, the raging wildfires have killed at least 24 people and destroyed an estimated 15 million acres as well as thousands of homes.
The impact on the country's unique and endangered wildlife is enormous. The University of Sydney's estimate does not include insects, bats or frogs, and, in addition to animals who have been directly killed in the blazes, there are also animals that have succumbed "later due to the depletion of food and shelter resources and predation from introduced feral cats and red foxes."
Australia is now experiencing "the highest rate of species lost of any area of the world," according to university experts, and species that weren't previously facing extinction could