Australia after the bushfires

The wildfires that swept the country in 2019 and 2020 were on a scale that is difficult to fathom. By the end of February, they had destroyed about 85,000 sq km (32,820 sq miles) of forest and affected nearly 3 billion animals

There is a misty spot by a creek at the bottom of a valley in a perennially damp patch of ancient rainforest where you can travel millions of years into the past without needing a time machine

It’s a deeply emotional and visceral thing. You can’t spend four decades in a place and know individual trees and then not be moved. There have been a lot of moments like that
Robert Kooyman

We’ve lost hundreds of years of forest growth
Robert Kooyman

About five hours drive south of Nightcap national park is Port Macquarie, where Cheyne Flanagan is clinical director in the town’s famous koala hospital. Scores of the iconic marsupials were treated for burns during the fires

Mark Lintermans knows a place that used to be well away from most humans. Once only the most dedicated hikers would drift through this isolated spot in Namadgi national park to the upper stretches of the Cotter River. “Then mountain bikes changed everything,” he says

People are out saving koalas. They don’t think about the fish
Mark Lintermans

“What sort of a world would it be without birds?” asks Bob Semmens, an 87-year-old retired park ranger. “They’re helping me get through the days. If I look out of the window and they’re not there, well … the day would be a bit ordinary”

I’m going to keep doing the surveys but at the moment they’re showing a lot less birds. I was in one coast forest and didn’t see or hear a single bird
Bob Semmens

The western side of Kangaroo Island is a biodiversity hotspot – a wilderness off the South Australian coast that is a smorgasbord of endangered species, some found nowhere else

You just take a big deep breath when you get there and feel happy it didn’t burn
Heidi Groffen

Whatever we can do, we’ll do. When you’re on an area of unburned land when so much else has been burned, this is our responsibility
Pat Hodgens

I’m catching very fat cats – they’re doing better than anything. It’s like heaven for them
Pat Hodgens

In a straight line, it is 3,400km from Nightcap national park in northern New South Wales to the Stirling Range in Western Australia

We’re out there to stop things becoming extinct
Sarah Barrett

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