Assessment of the impacts of the 2019–20 wildfires of southern and eastern Australia on invertebrate species: Final report

Date: 06, Oct, 2021
Author(s):   Jess Marsh, Payal Bal, Hannah Fraser, Kate Umbers, Aaron Greenville, Libby Rumpff, John Woinarski
Publisher: TSR Hub

The 2019-20 wildfires of eastern and southern Australia were exceptional in their severity and extent, resulting in catastrophic impacts on biodiversity. Those impacts have been well documented for vertebrate species and plants, but hitherto there has been far less assessment of the impacts of these wildfires on invertebrate fauna. However, some post-fire studies have indicated that the impacts of these fires have been very significant for some invertebrate species, including at least one case where the 2019–20 fires are likely to have caused the extinction of an already threatened invertebrate species, and many cases of species whose entire known distributions were burnt. In this study, we attempted to assess the impacts of the 2019-20 fires on as comprehensive a set of invertebrate species as possible, and to identify those fire-affected species that are priorities for conservation response.