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Catastrophic Australian Bushfires Derail Research

Economic effect of disasters runs deeper than we think

One of life’s simple pleasures is a run. Out in the sunshine, gentle breeze, maybe a dog at your side and friends around you.

Every Saturday morning, tens of thousands of Australians embrace this via the volunteer-driven Parkrun program. These five-kilometre non-competitive events, managed online and helped along by people prepared to spend an hour of their week marshalling runners or taking photographs, are a growing force in physical activity participation.

From Cowra to Cohuna, Parkruns are everywhere around this country. There are more than 30 every Saturday in Melbourne and Brisbane alone. But through the past four weeks, a city with one of the heaviest concentrations of Parkruns, Canberra, went without.

So thick and dangerous was the smoke rolling in from the nation’s bushfires that for three consecutive weekends, every one of the eight Parkruns in Canberra and neighbouring Queanbeyan were abandoned…

 

Catastrophic Australian Bushfires Derail Research

research

Humane Society International Crisis Response Specialist, Kelly Donithan looks for injured wildlife in a burnt out forest on Kangaroo Island on January 15, 2020. Image Credit: Peter Parks Getty Images

Smoke hung thick in the air and shrubland was still smouldering when firefighters escorted a small team of biologists into Kosciusko National Park in southern New South Wales on 15 January.

The expedition, granted a rare exemption from the park’s strict no-go policy during this record-breaking fire season, was to prevent one of Australia’s rarest fish from going extinct.

Rain forecast for the following day threatened to wash ash from the fires into the mountain streams, smothering the last remaining Galaxias tantangara, a species of mountain minnow found in a single three-kilometre stretch of the Tantangara Creek. The expeditioners collected 142 fish as an insurance population to be bred in captivity, a first for the species, in case it disappears in the wild…

 

Severe floods in Australia after devastating bushfires

After a season of devastating bushfires, severe flooding is now sweeping through parts of Australia.

Heavy rain has soaked coastal areas of Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) over the last few days.

The rain is expected to move south in the coming days and bring relief to the state of Victoria, where firefighters continue to be dwarfed by flames…

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