Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames

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(AP) - Much of Australia is still ablaze in an unprecedented wildfire season that has already charred an area the size of Kentucky.

Nearly half a billion animals have been impacted in some way by the Australian fires. (Source: Humane Society International, Australian Department of Defense, AFPTV, CNN)

Scientists fear that some of Australia’s unique and colorful endangered species may not recover.

Now they are looking for surviving representatives of rare species including the kangaroo-like brush-tailed rock wallabies and helping threatened creatures get enough food and water in recently scorched forests.

Koalas are not now in imminent danger of extinction, but scientists worry that the iconic marsupial’s habitat has been greatly reduced by wildfires.

Scientists say climate change is making massive wildfires more common.

Australia firefighters save world’s only rare dinosaur trees
Firefighters have saved the world’s last remaining wild stand of a prehistoric tree from Australia’s wildfires.

The national parks director says firefighters winched from helicopters to reach the cluster of fewer than 200 Wollemi Pines in a remote mountain gorge a week before a massive wildlife bore down.

A state environmental official says the stand was saved, though some plants were singed.

The Wollemi Pine had only been seen in its fossilized form and was thought long extinct before the stand in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney was found in 1994.

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