Aircraft are being used to feed the thousands of hungry wildlife stranded amid the Australian bushfire crisis.
The New South Wales government has started doing food-drops, trickling thousands of kilograms of carrots and sweet potato from above to feed the state’s colonies of brush-trailed rock wallabies.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service commenced ‘Operation Rock Wallaby’ on Saturday to combat the at-risk nature of the state’s marsupial population.
Pictured: The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service commenced ‘Operation Rock Wallaby’ on Saturday to combat the at-risk nature of the state’s marsupial population
Pictured: A Rock Wallaby munches on a carrot that’s been dropped as part of a New South Wales government initiative to support the wildlife affected by the bushfire crisis
The parks service has spent the past week completing the food drops for rock wallaby colonies in the Capertree and Wolgan valleys, Yengo National Park, the Kangaroo Valley, and around Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks.
In total they have dropped more than 2,200kg of fresh vegetables for the critters.
New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean said while the aninmals have managed to flee the fires they’re left without a source of food.
Pictured: The parks service has spent the past week completing the food drops for rock wallaby colonies across New South Wales
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said rock wallabies (pictured) 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
‘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,’ he said.
‘The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance,’ he said.
Mr Keane said they’ll be keeping an eye on the native species to check on their progress as part of the post-bushfire recovery process.
‘When we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the uptake of the food and the number and variety of animals there,’ Mr Kean said.
Pictured: In total the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service has dropped more than 2,200kg of fresh vegetables for the critters
The World Wildlife Fund has estimated about 1.25 billion animals have died either directly or indirectly from the bushfires across Australia.
‘This heart-breaking loss includes thousands of precious koalas on the mid-north coast of NSW, along with other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, potoroos, cockatoos and honeyeaters,’ WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said in a statement.
The rock wallaby – the main species for the state’s food drop initiative – was already deemed at-risk before the bushfires because of habitat destruction.
Pictured: Carrots and sweet potatoes are being supplied via helicopter food drops to New South Wales rock wallaby colonies
Meanwhile, charity organisation Animals Australia has been using aircraft to transport food supplies for the injured and burnt wildlife in regional Victoria.
More than 800,000 hectares of land has been burnt in East Gippsland since fires gripped the region and stranded thousands of tourists and residents before New Year’s Eve.
Two plane-loads of food and veterinary supplies were sent off on Wednesday to reach the animals around the Mallacoota fire-grounds.
Charity group Animals Australia has been using aircraft (pictured) to transport food supplies for the injured and burnt wildlife in regional Victoria
The organisation initially struggled to get food supplies into Mallacoota because of smokey conditions this week
Pictured: Wildlife carers in Mallacoota tend to a kangaroo joey injured during the recent bushfires in East Gippsland
Pictured: Wildlife carers in Mallacoota bandaged up a kangaroo who has suffered burns to his feet during the bushfires in East Gippsland
More than 900kg of food was distributed to the kangaroos around the area, in addition to a generator and other supplies.
The organisation initially struggled to get supplies in because of the unfavourable conditions.
‘Fingers crossed for clearer skies today, but we’re working on any and all options to get the food to these hungry animals,’ Animals Australia wrote on Wednesday.
But the skies cleared and the drop was successfully made, with the group thanking its supporters for providing the funds to make it possible.
‘We continue to be absolutely humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity and support from all across the world.
‘Today our primary focus is making sure these funds are distributed to wherever they will have the most direct and meaningful impact for animals,’ the group wrote.
Pictured: More than 800,000 hectares of land has been burnt in East Gippsland since fires gripped the region
Pictured: Thousands of wildlife have been injured and left stranded without food supplies after bushfires took out thousands of hectares of land in East Gippsland