Kangaroo Island’s Black Summer Bushfires
The Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020 were utterly catastrophic, especially for Kangaroo Island, which is located just off the mainland of South Australia. The Kangaroo Island fires burned through 211,500 ha of land — causing the unfortunate deaths of 2 people, 25,000 koalas, the destruction of 56 homes and the decimation of bird habitats.
Kangaroo Island is often described as Australia’s Galápagos, or a “zoo without borders”. Its 5,000 residents share the island with more than 260 native bird species; 17 are endemic.
Following the bushfires, BirdLife Australia estimated that some species lost up to 80% of their natural habitat. The island still bears the scars of the bushfire season, but life is slowly emerging from the ashes.