Australian Firefighters Have Saved the Last Groves of a Rare, Prehistoric Tree
— “Just 200 Wollemi pines exist in a remote gorge, prompting a critical operation to protect them from bushfires Since devastating wildfires began raging across Australia last year, news emerging from the country has often been dire: 15.6 million acres of land burned, at least 28 people killed, more than one billion animals estimated dead. But this week, there was a heartening development. According to Adam Morton of the Guardian, firefighters have successfully saved Australia’s groves of Wollemi pines, a species of prehistoric tree known to survive only in the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales.
Once widespread across Australia, Wollemi pines reached their peak abundance some 34 to 65 million years ago. As Australia drifted northward and its climate cooled and dried, the trees began a steady decline; today, just 200 Wollemi pines grow on the northwestern outskirts of Sydney, in a deep, remote gorge bounded by steep sandstone cliffs.” @smithsonian #smithsonianmagazine #australia #bushfires #conservation #wollemipine #newsouthwales #prehistorictree #biodiversity #climatechange - 1 hour ago