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University of Sydney confirms 480 million animals killed in NSW bushfires
Australia supports more than 300 native species and is the only great land mass to contain three major groups of living mammals: marsupials, monotremes and placentals.

Australia reportedly holds world’s highest rate of species loss

A new study from the University of Sydney states that 480 million animals have been affected by the bushfires in New South Wales (NSW) since September. It outlines Australia’s diverse mammal population, and explains how the authors have calculated this figure.

The findings were based on a report, published for the WWF in 2007, that author Professor Chris Dickman contributed to. The report used published studies to obtain estimates of mammal population density in NSW. These estimates were then multiplied by the amount of land that was approved to be cleared by the state government between 1998 and 2005, to then calculate the impact of land clearing on NSW’s wildlife.

Using this formula, Prof Dickman of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences was then able to estimate that 480 million animals have been affected by the bushfires since September 2019, although the authors stated that they intentionally used vastly conservative estimates while making their calculations, and the actual loss of animal life is expected to be much higher.

Many of these animals were most likely killed directly by the fires, while others would have perished as a result of the depletion of food and shelter. This figure only relates to NSW, and does not include insects, bats or frogs.

Australia supports over 300 native species, and is the only great land mass to contain three major groups of living mammals: marsupials, monotremes (platypus and echidna) and placentals. According to the study, 81 per cent of these unique mammals are found only in Australia.

Around 34 species and subspecies of native mammals have become extinct in the continent over the last 200 years, this, according to Prof Dickman, is the highest rate of loss for any region in the world.

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Kennel Club appoints new chief executive

News Story 1
 The Kennel Club has announced the appointment of Mark Beazley, who was previously Cats Protection's director of operations, as chief executive. Mark replaces Rosemary Smart, who stepped down from the role in April after 18 years.

Mark has held several senior strategic and executive roles, including executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland and chair of the Companion Animal Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals. He was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Eu Cat and Dog Alliance.

Mark will take up his new role in October. 

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International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."