An estimated 87 million animals have been killed by New South Wales’ ongoing tree clearing between 1998 and 2015, a new WWF-Australia report has found.
The report found that over 517,000 hectares of native bushland have been cleared over the 17 year period, which has led to the deaths of around 5 million animals each year, totalling 9.1 million mammals, 10.7 million birds, and 67.1 million reptiles.
But this number may have doubled to over 10 million per year after the Native Vegetation Act was repealed to make it easier to legally bulldoze forests.
“New South Wales now has the weakest woodland and forest protections. It is the worst place to live in Australia if you are a wild animal that needs trees to survive,” said Darren Grover, WWF-Australia’s Head of Living Ecosystems.
“After NSW laws were axed, forest destruction rates nearly tripled in just one part of the state alone. This data shows that the number of animals killed by bulldozing is likely to have risen dramatically under the current government,” said Mr Grover.
“The Office of Environment and Heritage has refused to release information to the public about tree-clearing after 2015, and this prevents us from accurately assessing just how bad the current situation is for wildlife,” he said