Last evening Kelly, Juno and I took a large bag of carrots up to the nearby base of Mt Taylor to feed the kangaroos.
One BILLION of Australia’s often unique animal populations has been killed during the current bushfire crisis. Many scientists say this is a conservative estimate.
Those animals that escaped the wildfires are now dealing with surviving amongst decimated ecosystems. Systems that were already being slowly strangled by the prolonged drought.
To try to provide some temporary relief National Parks rangers have been delivering emergency food drops for some of these animals. In New South Wales alone, tonnes of mostly sweet potatoes and carrots have been dropped from helicopters in wild areas. Capertee and Wolgan valleys, Yengo National Park, Kangaroo Valley, Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Curracubundi national parks just to name a few places.
Meanwhile, in many areas more densely populated by people there has been an outpouring of compassion. We have seen plenty of local individuals and families providing food and water supplies for wildlife. Something that is not usually encouraged by authorities…..but this is not by any means a usual situation.
As we walked up the track to the place where I usually see kangaroos during my evening walks we could see scores of large plastic containers and bowls filled with water. And just over there….a kangaroo and her teenage son were drinking in long greedy gulps from a green bucket. We stood and watched. They drank for a long time.
Of course it’s not just about the kangaroos, many species of wildlife are struggling to find food sources right now. Birds, lizards, possums, koalas, wombats, even bees….the whole burnt up catastrophe.
Do Roos eat carrots?
We had wondered if carrots were an appropriate food to be leaving and on further reading, it turns out that whilst OK, they are probably not the best choice for kangaroos. Specific kangaroo pellets available from rural supply stores are recommended. Apparently some government services use carrots for baiting programs…so we don’t want to encourage this as a recognised food source.
If you would like more information on what is appropriate food to be providing for fire/drought affected wildlife in Australia, these seem to be two of the more useful sources of information I have found.
- NSW Government: Helping wildlife in emergencies.
- Animals Australia: A guide to feeding hungry wildlife survivors of bushfires.