As the Australian bushfire crisis is receiving more and more international attention for all the right reasons, people and organizations from all over the world are teaming up to stop the devastating wildfires and help the casualties.
According to experts, a staggering one billion animals are now estimated dead, as a result of the ongoing crisis. Those who remained alive are at risk of death due to injuries and hunger.
To save the at-risk nature of Australia’s marsupial population, an ‘Operation Rock Wallaby’ was declared by the Wildlife Service and the NSW National Parks. In the framework of the operation, aircraft are sent to feed countless starving animals that fell victims to the wildfires.
Among the initiatives, the New South Wales government has been dropping thousands of kilograms of sweet potato and carrots from above to give the wildlife population a change of survival, mainly the small-eared rock-wallabies.
According to Matt Kean, New South Wales Environment Minister, many animals that have managed to escape are now challenged to stay alive due to the limited natural food.
Minister Kean said:
“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.”
The wallabies have been challenged even before the bushfires, due to the drought that affected their 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.
The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance.”
Mr. Kean explained that they are using cameras to monitor the uptake of food and the number and variety of animals.
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Nature Campaigner Jess Abrahams said that these measures are a short-term, but “sensible emergency response”.
Yet, he stressed that the federal government needs to invest more in long-term recovery since climate change leads to more frequent and intense fires.
Charity groups have been relying on donations to lease planes and fill them with pellets and grain for food-drops. In some areas, smokey conditions made it difficult to transport food supplies. Happily, when the skies cleared, they managed to complete another drop.
Lyn White, Animals Australia Spokeswoman, stressed that they work around the clock in order to ensure that the survivors won’t face the life-threatening issue of starvation.