CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The raging wildfires in Australia have been burning since September taking down homes and wildlife habitat alike.
The University of Sydney has been trying to calculate the number of animals, birds, frogs and insects have been impacted.
Based on a 2007 study, authors have put a conservative estimate of 480,000 animals affected by the fires in the New South Wales area of the country.
“The figure includes mammals, birds and reptiles and does not include insects, bats or frogs,” Professor Chris Dickman said from the University of Sydney. “The true loss of animal life is likely to be much higher than 480 million.”
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo does not have a conservation partner or project in Australia but does have ways in which Northeast Ohio animal lovers can help.
“Koalas are one species getting a lot of attention in the news; however, there are thousands of other species, including frogs, snakes and birds that are being devastated by these fires,” Chris Kuhar said, executive director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. “While the wild fires are the worst in record, they are a symptom of a much larger problem as Australia has been impacted by an ongoing drought.”
“Your donation will help fund emergency veterinary assistance and scientific intervention. All donations either great or small will help with the response to this crisis,” according to the website.
To help locally, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo encouraged people to buy tickets and memberships.
“When you visit Cleveland Metroparks Zoo a portion of your ticket or membership goes to support the Zoo’s Future for Wildlife conservation programs. These programs are dedicated to helping species all over the world and educating people here in northeast Ohio on how they can help. Visit www.futureforwildlife.org/conservation to learn more about how Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is helping to secure a future for wildlife," Kuhar said.