Currently in New South Wales, Australia, it’s raining carrots and sweet potatoes.
Yes, you read that correctly.
While much of the country continues to burn, there are some areas where the fires have abated (for now). The animals living in these areas, however, are still not out of harm’s way. Many of them who are now considered endangered face a new challenge: finding food.
The Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby
This cute little marsupial, though they fared much better than the Koala population, are now at just as great a risk.
Before the fires, this species was already struggling due to the drought that occurred just before the fires. Vegetation was low, and therefore so were their food sources. Now that much of the land around them has burned, they are having increased difficulty finding anything to eat. Without food, they may not survive this bushfire season either. (1)
Bring in the Helicopters
Australia is using helicopters to perform the largest emergency food drop they have ever done to help provide food to the endangered wallabies, as well as many of the other animals stranded in the area. (1)
“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,” NWS Environment Minister Matt Kean said. “The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance.” (1)
An Apocalyptic Landscape
Rescue workers and firefighters have used the term “apocalypse” to describe the scene the devastating fires have left behind. A charred landscape covered in the remains of trees, other vegetation, and the burned bodies of many of the animals have claimed. The extent of the damage done to Australia’s plant, animal, and insect populations is still unknown. (1)
A Prime Minister Under Pressure
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been highly criticized for how he has handled the bushfires – from his position on climate change and how prepared he was for the bushfire season to his taking vacation in Hawaii when the country was already in crisis. (1)
He was forced to return and start working on the solutions and rescue operations when people started losing their lives – a total that has now reached 28.(2)
Despite his having admitted that climate change has most definitely impacted this year’s bushfire season, he made no mention of Australia’s need to cut down on carbon emissions in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company. Later on that day he stated the Aussie government has targets for carbon emissions that intend to meet if not surpass, however, he also said that he doesn’t want to risk people’s jobs who work in the coal sector or make energy more expensive for the Australian people. Lastly, he said that will be calling for a high-level government inquiry into the wildfires. (1)
What you can do to help
Many of Australia’s animals will be at risk of extinction after these fires, if they are not already. With the island continent being the only home to some of the world’s most unique plants and animals, it is imperative that we continue to help them.
Here are a few places that will put your donations directly to helping the animals in need:
- The World Wildlife Federation – Bushfire Emergency Fund
- World Animal Protection
- Animals Australia
- WIRES Wildlife Rescue
Australia is going to need our help long after the bushfires have stopped burning. Every little bit counts. If we all give just a small amount, we can make a massive impact.
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