Australia is dropping thousands of veggies from helicopters for hungry animals escaping bushfires

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The mission is known as Operation Rock Wallaby.

The New South Wales (NWS) government is working to make sure the brush-tailed rock-wallabies affected by the Australian bushfires are fed as part of a post-fire wildlife recovery effort, according to Matt Kean, minister of energy and environment. Officials have dropped over 2,000 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of sweet potatoes and carrots across different colonies in the last week, 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,” Kean said. “Initial fire assessments indicate the habitat of several important brush-tailed rock-wallaby populations was burnt in the recent bushfires. 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.”

“This is the most widespread food drop we have ever done for brush-tailed rock-wallabies,” Kean said.

The brush-tailed rock-wallabies are marsupials — like kangaroos — who “live on rocky escarpments, granite outcrops and cliffs,” according to Australia’s Department of Environment and Energy website. Of the 15 species in Australia, most have disappeared and are now considered threatened, the website says. The species is also considered endangered in New South Wales.

Large swaths of Australia have burned in the blazes that began months before the official fire season started.

Nearly half a billion animals have been impacted by the fires in NSW alone, with millions potentially dead, according to ecologists at the University of Sydney. That figure includes birds, reptiles, and mammals, except bats. It also excludes insects and frogs — meaning the true number is likely much higher.

The total number of animals affected in Australia could be as high as a billion, according to University of Sydney ecologist Christopher Dickman.

For the wallabies, the NWS government plans to provide supplementary food supplies until natural food resources and water replenish in the areas affected.

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.”

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News