‘Body count’ study gives first estimate of animals killed in wildfires in Brazil’s Pantanal wetland.
Amid the bleakness of 2020, scientists in Brazil concluded a particularly grim conservation study – attempting to count the animals killed by huge wildfires in the Pantanal wetlands.
They estimate that as many as 17 million vertebrates – including reptiles, birds and primates – died.
Wildfires burned between January and November, destroying 30% of the world’s largest tropical wetland.
This estimate of the loss is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Dr Mariana Napolitano Ferreira, head of science at WWF-Brazil explained that there were 22,000 separate fires recorded during that year.
This new research highlights, the researchers say, the importance of preventing such disasters in the future.
The Pantanal does burn naturally, but the 2020 wildfires were “apocalyptic”, according to Dr Alex Lees, an ecologist from Manchester Metropolitan University who has worked extensively in Central Brazil, including in the Pantanal. […]