Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Environmental Studies


The 2019-2020 Australian bushfire event had exceptionally dry, hot conditions as well as high potential impacts on the country’s wildlife and natural resources. The purpose of the study was to analyze the potential impacts of the 2019 Australian bushfire event on animal species, protected land, and varied land cover types. The research question of this project is: how does the location of the Australian Bushfires of 2020 potentially impact animal species, protected land and national parks, as well as different land covers? Raster calculator was used to combine and classify layers from the MODIS Burned Area Product of burned (1) and unburned (0) areas from September through December of 2019. The combined burned layer was overlaid upon the Australia - Species of National Environmental Significance Database, Collaborative Australia Protected Areas Database, and MODIS Land Cover Type Yearly Global layer to identify burned animal habitats, protected areas, and land cover types. Many animal species’ habits burned in areas like eastern Australian forests, grasslands, and savannas but fire refugia may have provided protection for Blue Mountain Water Skinks and Southern Corroboree Frogs. Indigenous protected land had high burn percentages and were found in larger central regions while national parks burned less in comparison and were dispersed in smaller patches throughout the nation. Evergreen broadleaf forests, woody savannas, and non-woody savannas were the land cover types that burned the most, respectively. Bushfires can cause loss of habitat, decrease in biodiversity, and reduction in resources, however, these fires can be better regulated to help prevent future cases of similar damage in the future.


Written for ES 450: Independent Research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.