Recent research suggests that 17 million animals have died in the catastrophic fires in Brazil alone, due to climate change. During the devastating forest fires that ravaged the region in 2020, researchers scrambled to determine animal death rates.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Death of 17 million animals
The study predicts that the wildfires in Brazil killed more than 17 million animals in 2020. According to India Today, the death toll is estimated at around 17 million animals belonging to a wide range of species, including reptiles, birds and primates.
Weather droughts are becoming more frequent, longer lasting and more intense due to human-induced climate change.
Severe weather events caused by climate change are estimated to have killed 17 million creatures, including reptiles, birds and primates.
Despite the importance of fire in the evolution of biodiversity in many ecosystems, scientists warned in an article published in Scientific Reports earlier this month that forest fires can harm animals.
Ground studies were carried out in the Pantanal wetland in Brazil to determine the first-order effect of the 2020 wildfires on animals. 39,030 square kilometers of land damaged by the fires were surveyed as part of the research.
It is important to remember that the cumulative effect of an extensive burning would be catastrophic, because the recurrence of fire can lead to the impoverishment of ecosystems and the disruption of their functioning.
Also read: Scorched earth left behind by blazing forest fires can cause more disasters
Common causes of forest fires
For the intense forest fire seasons of recent years, they indicate regional causes such as deforestation, misuse and ignition of a fire or lack of landscape management measures as well as the emission of greenhouse gases which in turn contribute to climate change as the main cause. .
The Brazilian Pantanal sector burned an incredible 39,030 square kilometers in 2020 due to fires that devastated 16,210 square kilometers in 2019. Reduced precipitation, increased temperatures and increased frequency of severe weather events all played a role in igniting the fire.
The vast majority of fires in Brazil are the result of human error, with land grabbers intentionally setting fires to make way for livestock or crops.
According to past trends, the number of fires begins to increase in June and peaks in September. During the dry season, they can quickly run out of control and destroy large areas of forest.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Areas severely affected by forest fires
Forest fires have increased in intensity and frequency, researchers say, resulting in an unprecedented amount of scorched land around the world. However, little is known about the effects of forest fires on animals.
Fires in 2019 and 2020 devastated two of the world’s largest tropical wetlands, resulting in the worst annual loss of forests since 2015. Brazil is home to the world’s largest Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal wetland.
Much criticism has been leveled at President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration for its response to the flames, despite Bolsonaro’s repeated calls for regional development.
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