While the Australian wildfires continue to burn and leave countless animals dead, relief missions are underway to help animals who have been rendered without food due to the blazes. The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service in Australia was able to use planes to drop thousands of pounds of carrots and sweet potatoes to the hungry Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies below.
The exhausted population of wallabies in New South Wales was in bad shape following the fires. Between the damage to their habitat and the countless deaths from the fire directly, the last thing the beleaguered animals needed to contend with was finding a decent meal in the burnt-out landscape.
The Wildlife Service made a statement regarding the food drop, stating “1000 kilograms of sweet potato and carrot have been sent to six different colonies in the Capertee and Wolgan valleys; 1000 kilograms across five sites in Yengo National Park; almost 100 kilograms of food and water in the Kangaroo Valley, with similar drops having also taken place in Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks.”
This might seem like a substantially large operation simply to bring some meals to a few marsupials. However, the Wildlife Service has engaged in this operation in order to help the Rock-wallaby population due to their endangered status. Matt Kean, the minister for Energy and Environment in NSW, explained as much in a recent public statement.
“The provision of supplementary food is one of the key strategies we are deploying to promote the survival and recovery of endangered species like the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby,” the Minister explained. He added that cameras were being set up to allow for monitoring of the situation on the ground, and to make sure the endangered wallabies were able to get to the food.
Kean stated that he believes the Wildlife Service will likely need to continue air-dropping food and water for the wallabies until such a time that the landscape recovers enough from the fires that food is available in the wild again.
According to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund, as many as 1.25 billion animals may have already died as a direct result of the fires.