Herds of cattle have been decimated, hundreds of thousands killed, with their corpses piled in the fields. But what has disturbed many even more is the complete absence of living native wildlife. Almost 50 million acres of Queensland has been flooded, as two years worth of rain fell in just twelve days.
The Flinders River, the longest in the state, is experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years. Ranchers who have surveyed the damage say they are not seeing any local wildlife, following the unprecedented deluge. Flooding turned small local creeks into mile wide torrents.
The widespread losses don’t surprise wildlife biologists familiar with the area. Experts warn that losses at this scale might be beyond recoverability and risks damage to the broader ecosystem.
Kangaroos, hopping-mice, bandicoots, echidnas and dunnarts are all likely to have been devastated by the historic floods. Assessments on the impact to local wildlife have not yet begun.