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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2020 03:24 PM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Australia Wildfires
Due to the worsening effects of climate change, the wildfires currently raging in Australia have done devastating and unprecedented damage. As the smoke from the fires now reaches the Earth’s stratosphere, at least 25 people have been killed; over 20 million acres have burned, destroying over 2,000 homes; and an estimated one billion animals have been killed.

The estimated number of animals killed includes only mammals, birds, and reptiles. If frogs, insects, and other invertebrates were to be calculated, it would be much, much higher. While the pictures of scorched koalas and kangaroos are heartbreaking and tragic on their own, it is the unseen, long-lasting impact these fires will have that should perhaps garner the most attention.

As many as 100 plant species have been burned, putting them at risk of extinction. In addition, several animal species, such as long-footed potoroos, greater gliders, dunnarts, and glossy black cockatoos are in danger of going extinct. Even if individual members of these species are able to survive, they may be doomed to extinction anyway as their habitats may be irreversibly damaged or destroyed.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution to honor Australia’s lost wildlife and to bring attention to the planet’s great loss.

Introduced as HR723