NATURE: Survivors of the Firestorm

NATURE: Survivors of the Firestorm

Mon, 03/26/2012 - 9:00pm

A young Eastern Grey Kangaroo 12 months after the fires.

Credit: Courtesy of (c) D.Parer & E. Parer-Cook

Trace the remarkable ability of Australian bushfire victims to bounce back and the environment’s extraordinary capacity for healing.

The bushfires that tore through the Australian state of Victoria in February 2009 incinerated over a million acres of land, including key mountain ash forest ecosystems. Fires are a natural force of nature which spur regeneration, but the immediate aftermath of this giant firestorm was devastation. Kangaroos and koalas, wombats and wallabies, endangered possums and gliders, lizards, echidnas, birds of all kinds, and even fish that lived among these eucalypts were overcome by the flames. Millions died. But burned and traumatized survivors tenderly nursed back to health at wildlife hospitals showed a remarkable ability to bounce back, and the environment an extraordinary capacity for healing. NATURE: Survivors of the Firestorm airs Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World (DT21.2/cable 524).