How Koalas Survive Forest Fires: Australia Is Global Test for Animals

SYDNEY—Researchers are deploying heat-seeking drones and studying the chemistry of leaves to determine how creatures like the koala can survive in a burned landscape, a new effort to understand the effects of devastating wildfires across the globe.

About 73,000 square miles were burned in Australia’s most recent fire season, an area bigger than Washington state, and a recent study estimated that three billion animals were in the path of the flames. But the study, led by researchers from the University of Sydney, couldn’t say…

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