How Hidden Cameras Are Helping Save Starving Animals On Kangaroo Island
Volunteers delivering food to starving animals in the Kangaroo Island bushfire zone are using hidden cameras to help native populations to survive.
The RSPCA has spent several weeks on the island, setting up food stations at over 40 locations where the deadly fires tore through over December and January.
"There's a number of animals that have survived the terrible fires that went through, but then have been left without a decent food source," the RSPCA's Keira Blanchard told 10 News First.
The RSPCA has delivered a smorgasboard of snacks including pellets, sweet potato, corn and carrots. Surviving animals have flocked to the sites, after much of their natural food sources werewiped out.
This week, the team became some of the first to enter the decimated Flinders National Park. Like much of the western side of the island, the park was all but destroyed in the disaster.
Volunteers were left shocked by the stark landscape which greeted them.
"Large trees reduce to stumps really, no tree canopy at all.. and nothing you could see living as far as the eye could see," said Blanchard.
But slowly, signs of life are starting to re-appear.
The team will now add hidden cameras to the food drops, to better understand exactly who calls in for a bite to eat. They'll also tailor the menu accordingly.
"It will give us an understanding first of all of what animals are coming to feed, and it might be that we identify there are species coming to feed that we haven't set out appropriate food for, so we can then adapt what we're doing at those stations," Blanchard said.
"It's also to make sure that we're not providing food for the feral populations in the national park, because what we don't want to do there is boost the numbers of feral animals and cause a problem for the native wildlife down the track."
Some of Kangaroo Island's animal species were already under threat before the fires tore through, and if it wasn't for the work of dedicated volunteers, they'd be at serious risk of disappearing altogether.
The RSPCA said it is prepared to stay on the island for months to come if needed.
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