On Saturday, NSW officials delivered food to groups of brush-tailed rock-wallabies in parts of the state that have been devastated by the fires. While initial assessments showed that the wallabies survived the fires, their habitats (already disturbed by ongoing droughts) did not. In an effort to ensure their well-being, the NSW packed helicopters full of carrots and sweet potatoes and airdropped them to the native creatures in different regions.
According to NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean, the wallabies were stranded with little vegetation left in their rocky environments. The airdrop, one part of several post-fire wildlife recovery efforts, was the largest delivery ever made for brush-tailed rock-wallabies. And Kean believes it's paramount to their recovery.
"At this stage, we expect to continue providing supplementary food to rock-wallaby populations until sufficient natural food resources and water become available again in the landscape, during post-fire recovery," Kean said.
In a week's time, Kean and his team sent around 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of sweet potatoes and carrots to six colonies in the Capertee and Wolgan valleys, another 2,200 to Yengo National Park and 220 pounds of food and water to each the Kangaroo Valley, Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks.
In addition to the mass-scale food deliveries, the NSW will install cameras where they can to monitor how well the wallabies consume the resources provided and see what other types of animals inhabit the areas and need their help. They will also take serious measures to control the rock-wallabies' predators so the endangered critters can remain safe in the face of harsh environmental pressures.