The wildfires in Australia are not showing any signs of stopping. Many ecologists are warning that there will be a major ecological change due to the widespread death of animals and plants. The entire ecological balance will be lost. However, many people are coming out of their secured homes to help animals and firefighters tackle this problem. And recently, aircraft have been used to drop thousands of kilograms of sweet potatoes and carrots for the starving animals. In the middle of the bushfire crisis, this is a delightful action.
The operation was commissioned by the government of New South Wales and has been called Operation Rock Wallaby. It tries to feed the rock wallabies of the colonies in the state and help the marsupial population survive.
The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service has started making food drops in areas like the Wolgan Valley and Capertee Valley, Yengo National Park, Jenolan, the Kangaroo Valley, Currancubundi national parks, and Oxley Wild Rivers. Around 2,200 kilograms of fresh veggies have been dropped for the animals.
According to the environment minister of NSW, Matt Kean – these animals may have escaped the wildfire, but since they are outside their habitat, they do not have any food to sustain themselves. According to him, wallabies may have survived the fires but they are stranded without food in the rocky terrain that they have settled in. Wallabies were already suffering because of the drought season. With no external assistance, survival would become challenging for them. Matt Kean says that they will look out for the starving wallaby population, and see if they are being able to recover after the crisis is over.
He says: When we can, we are also setting up cameras to monitor the uptake of the food and the number and variety of animals there.
According to WWF, nearly 1.25 billion animals must have become casualties of this wildfire – directly or indirectly. The CEO of WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Australia, Dermot O’ Goran has said: This heart-breaking loss includes thousands of precious koalas on the mid-north coast of NSW, along with other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, potoroos, cockatoos and honeyeaters.
Even before the wildfire, the rock wallaby was considered a species that is ‘at risk’. This was largely due to the human evil of habitat destruction. Maybe by feeding the starving animals, we can finally make a change.
Animals Australia is trying their best to bring food through aircraft for the starving animals harmed during the Victoria fires. This charity has used much of its donations to lease out small planes, that have pellets and bags of grain. They are using the aircraft to provide food to the wildlife present in that region. They work through Vets for Compassion.
Lyn White, a spokesperson for Animal Australia, has said that they do not want starving animals to die just because they lack food. After all, they were able to escape the fire for now.
However, she does elucidate the transport problem as well:
With roads likely shut for weeks, the risk of starvation for surviving wildlife in the area is very real.
It would be tragic if there was a further loss of life because the needs of surviving animals was not being met.
Australia is trying as much as it can to help the injured and starving animals. And among the smog of the wildfires, this is a piece of great news and shows new hope. You can also donate to this cause if you want, here.
Source: Matt Kean/Twitter/NSW Office of Environment & Heritage