Bushfires take toll on wildlife research

A bushfire burns on Kangaroo Island. ©robdownunder

The recent Australian bushfires have exacted a toll not just on wildlife but on wildlife research. “Some studies have been set back months or years,” writes Nature Index. “Destroyed scientific equipment and derailed research projects must be added to the calamitous toll of lives, homes and businesses lost.”

Despite the setbacks, biologists say they see an opportunity to deal with invasive species, including deer and pigs, and to study the disruption to ecosystems.

University of Canberra aquatic ecologist Ross Thompson said he spent days counselling students whose research has been affected.

“If you’re trying to do a three and a half year PhD and you have a big fire in the middle of it, it can have a pretty significant effect on whether you’ve got enough data to get done,” he said.

Read more from Nature Index here.