Hell from above: Aerial shots reveal fire devastation
Some of Fraser Island's famous wildlife could be harmed or starving conservationists fear, as bushfires on the island continue burning for an eighth week.
Flying over the island on Saturday, conservationists said they were "fighting back tears" at the scale of the devastation.
Aerial views show parts of the World Heritage site stripped bare by fire while waves black with ash lapped the shores of the island.
Residents at Orchid Beach - on the north east of the island - said they had seen dingo territory wars.
"There were some mothers that came in and were belting up the pups," The Courier Mail was told.
"From six and there were four and now … there's only one or two."
Save our Fraser Island Dingos public relations officer Cheryl Bryant said the situation highlighted the need for on the ground support.
"We really need on the ground surveillance when they open it up and have a look and see," she said - hoping the December 14 opening date was not "too late".
Fraser Island will remain closed to visitors until December 14, with some parts of the island restricted until late January.
The Humane Society International (HSI) - one of the world's top animal protection organisations - said in a Facebook post it was "monitoring the distressing situation on K'gari (Fraser Island)".
"The fallout from such heavily disrupted ecosystems and potential food shortage for K'gari's famous dingoes will require close monitoring for months to come and we are on standby to provide any assistance needed," the group said in a statement on Facebook.
"We met with key staff from the offices of Minister for Environment, Meaghan Scanlon, and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan, along with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services," the group said in a post.
"We were briefed that the immediate impacts on wildlife welfare may be far less than we witnessed during the Black Summer fires due to the slow-moving nature of the fire which may have allowed more animals to escape."
HSI said it was concerned about the potential loss of native wildlife and would provide assistance "if required" when the island reopens.
Fraser Island is home to 601 species of native animals and 918 species of native plants, according to DES data.
Dr Patrick Norman, a researcher from Griffith's Climate Change Response Program, previously said due to its size the Fraser Island fire would have affected a range of unique flora and fauna.
From satellite imagery and ecosystem mapping, Dr Norman said he estimated that the 76,000ha burnt by fire up to Monday could be broken down into: wallum heath (~37,000ha), dry eucalypt forest dominated by scribbly gum (~16,000ha), dune vegetation (~7,500ha) and wetlands (~3,500ha).
"These communities are well adapted to fire, however the size and extent of these burnt areas in combination with the 2019 blazes, means that much of this habitat has been impacted on island," he said.
"It's just quite devastating for the area."
Originally published as 'Fighting back tears': Aerial shots reveal Fraser fire devastation