The road to Batlow is flooded with corpses.
In the hazy, gray haze of the morning, it's hard to know exactly what Matt Roberts camera is taking. Roberts, an Australian Broadcast Corporation photojournalist, kept his lens focused on the road as he rolled in.the town 55 miles west of Canberra, the capital of Australia. At the edge of the asphalt, the black animal's corpse lay motionless.
The scene is grim, Widely shared on social media, is a symbol of the impact of the 2019-20 bushfire season that has affected Australia's animal life. Some estimates show "Many, billions" of animals have been killed, populations of endemic insects can be paralyzed and, when ash comes into the river, Marine life will be seriously affected. The scale of wildfires is so huge, it's hard for scientists to know the impact on wildlife for many years.
But even before wildfires broke out across the country, unique Australian native animals fought to survive. Destroying habitats, invasive species, hunting and climate change have plotted against them. Indigenous animal populations are plummeting or disappearing altogether, giving Australia an undeniable record: It has the highest mammal extinction rate in the world.
A majority of Australia's extinctions involve marsupials – the class of mammals including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and iconic wombats of the nation. A century ago, …