Change will only come when protecting our unique wilderness comes over other considerations. There are concerning signs the Albanese government is not on board

The catastrophic environmental damage from Australia’s bushfires of 2019-20 is still playing out, but scientists now have a clear picture of what was been lost in that unprecedented summer and lessons that can be learned. It is set out in a recent book, Australian Megafires, which brings together the research and analysis of more than 200 experts in their field.

The scale of the impact is so vast that it is hard to get your head around. Fire burned the entire known habitat – every part of it – of more than 500 plant and animal species. At least 100 species that were already threatened with extinction before black summer had more than 50% of their habitat burnt. About 350 species and ecosystems either became threatened for the first time or were pushed closer to extinction.

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