(Sydney-AP) — A prominent scientist believes more animals are dying in Australia’s bushfires than he originally thought. Chris Dickman now thinks more than one-billion animals have been killed in the fires.
That includes more than 800-million in New South Wales alone. The University of Sydney ecology professor first estimated the death toll would be under half a billion.
The fires have been burning for months, charring millions of acres of land and leaving at least two dozen people dead.
Twenty-four people have been arrested in connection with the fires including a teenage firefighter. Crews are fighting as many as 146-brushfires, 65-of which aren’t contained.