The New South Wales government recently set an urgent launch of Operation Rock Wallaby into motion – a food-drop initiative focused on feeding the hungry marsupial population affected by the Australian bushfire crisis. Apart from the rock wallabies, the main species of the project who have unfortunately suffered long before the bushfires due to destruction of habitat, some other widely known marsupials include kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and opossums. The problem lies in the fact that the bushfires have wiped out all vegetation. Despite the animals’ ability to escape and survive the harsh fires, they are without any source of natural food and already under stress from the ongoing drought.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service completed their first week of operation in early January 2020 with more than 2,200 kilograms of fresh carrots and sweet potatoes dropped for rock wallaby colonies in the Capertree and Wolgan valleys, Yengo National Park, the Kangaroo Valley, and around Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks. The parks service also set up cameras to easily monitor their progress in post-bushfire recovery, taking into account the amount of food consumed and the number and variety of animals there.
Meanwhile, another organization relying on donations called Animals Australia have sent two small plane-loads of grains and pellets to feed kangaroos stranded in the Mallacoota fire-grounds. With the continual support and contribution from all over the world, the organization is focusing on ensuring the funds collected are distributed to provide the most direct and meaningful impact for the surviving animals. The NWS government also plans to provide supplementary food supplies for the animals until natural food resources and water replenish in the areas affected.