Endangered Animals Helped By Aerial Food Drops In Bushfire-Ravaged Areas
Thousands of kilograms of food have been dropped into fire-affected bushland across NSW for endangered brush-tailed rock-wallabies.
In the last week, the NSW Government has dropped carrots and sweet potato to six colonies in Capertee and Wolgan valleys, at five sites in Yengo National Park and in the Kangaroo Valley.
Other aerial drops have been made in Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks.
Matt Kean, NSW Environment Minister, said the food drops are part of the state's major post-fire wildlife recovery effort.
“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,” he said.
“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 fires, Kean said, but ongoing stress from the drought has made survival a challenge for the marsupial without assistance.
This is the most widespread aerial drop ever performed for the brush-tailed rock-wallaby.
“At this stage, we expect to continue providing supplementary food to rock-wallaby populations until sufficient natural food resources and water become available again in the landscape, during post-fire recovery," Kean said.
An intensive feral predator control is also in place as required.
“When we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the uptake of the food and the number and variety of animals there,” Kean said.
It has been predicted that one billion animals will die during the bushfire crisis, 80 percent of those reptiles.
The remaining 200 million will be made up of birds and terrestrial mammals, including 10,000 koalas.