Food air-dropped to animals caught up in bush fires crisis

Clay Curtis
January 15, 2020

The fires in Australia have been burning for months, consuming almost 18 million acres of land, causing thousands to evacuate and killing potentially millions of animals.

The New South Wales (NSW) government has deployed helicopters the past week to drop more than two tonnes of carrots and sweet potatoes at different sites where Brush-tailed Rock- wallabies, a marsupial native to southeastern Australia, lives, Efe news reported on Monday.

Wildlife workers say they've dropped almost a tonne of food across bushland to help endangered wallabies affected by Australia's bushfire crisis.

"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", Kean said. The charity's Lyn White said: 'With roads likely shut for weeks, the risk of starvation for surviving wildlife is very real'.

Around 1.25 billion animals are estimated to have died due to the blazes, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Thousands more are believed to be injured and homeless.

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"The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance", he said.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Environment Minister Sussan Ley said at the funding announcement that Australia's koala population has taken an "extraordinary hit" in the fires and could be formally classified as "endangered". The plan is created to help maintain the animal colonies and allow them to recover. The Australian state of New South Wales, where both Sydney and Canberra are located, declared a state of emergency this week, as worsening weather conditions could lead to even greater fire danger.

For the Wallabys, the NWS government plans to provide food supplements until the natural food resources and water in the affected areas are replenished.

Kean said, "When we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the uptake of the food and the number and variety of animals there". The crisis, however, has pushed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to shift ever-so-slightly on his government's approach to climate policy as the fires have killed 27 people and torched millions of acres of land equivalent to the size of SC.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has acknowledged that climate change has had an influence on the fires and has defended his government's climate record.

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