Australia Bushfires: New South Wales Govt Is Dropping Thousands Of Vegetables For Starving Animals
With Australia in the grips of the destructive bushfires, the New South Wales (NSW) government is working to feed the brush-tailed rock-wallabies as part of a mission called Operation Rock Wallaby, as part of a post-fire wildlife recovery effort.
Over 2,000 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of sweet potatoes and carrots have been dropped by officials across different colonies in the last week.
"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," CNN World quoted Matt Kean, minister of energy and environment, as saying.
"Initial fire assessments indicate the habitat of several important brush-tailed rock-wallaby populations was burnt in the recent bushfires. The wallabies typically survive the fire itself, but are then left stranded with limited natural food as the fire takes out the vegetation around their rocky habitat."
"This is the most widespread food drop we have ever done for brush-tailed rock-wallabies," Kean said.
According to Australia's Department of Environment and Energy website, the brush-tailed rock-wallabies are marsupials which "live on rocky escarpments, granite outcrops and cliffs." Most of the 15 species in Australia have now disappeared and are considered threatened. In New South Wales, the species is considered endangered.
Nearly 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles were killed due to the Australia bushfires, which have been engulfing the continent since September 2019, Ecologists at the University of Sydney told News.com.au. Almost 8,000 of these animals are believed to be koalas.