The Australian government and a number of local charities have partnered up to support Australia’s most vulnerable animals during the bushfire crises.
Together, over 10,000 pounds of food has been dropped from the sky to provide much-needed food to koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, and animals that have lost their habitats during the devastating bushfires.
Some of the biggest fires in Australia’s history have left entire species wiped out.
The World Wildlife Fund has estimated this year’s bushfires have killed about 1.25 billion animals to date, including the loss of thousands of koalas across the coast of NSW and iconic species of kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, and honeyeaters.
Whilst some animals have managed to flee the fires, there are still many that are left without a source of food.
To counteract this food shortage the National Parks and Wildlife Service the charity Animals Australia are using aircraft to drop foods like vegetables into the bush where the animals still reside.
One such initiative – “Operation Rock Wallaby” is on a mission to protect New South Wales’ at-risk marsupial population from starvation, especially brush-tailed rock wallabies which is particularly vulnerable during this time.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean spoke to the Daily Mail about how “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,”
“The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance.”
With roads likely shut for weeks, it is believed that the risk of starvation for surviving wildlife in the area is growing.
To counteract this, over 5000 pounds of carrots and sweet potatoes have been dropped across several national parks in NSW by the State’s National Parks and Wildlife Services.
Similarly in Victoria, a private charity called Animals Australia has dropped over 3 tons of food across the state, using small planes that have been rented with donation money.