Protecting the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby following devastating drought and bushfires
"Whilst there are encouraging signs that food drops are working and there is still available water in some areas, finding dead wallabies is an absolute kick in the guts."
*** Partial funds raised from the Bushfire Appeal will be deployed to this project. ***
Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies (BTRW) naturally live in areas with bare rock in rocky hills and gorges, and these habitats are mostly found in the uplands of the Great Dividing Range. The BTRW is one of the approximately 10 rock-wallaby species which live in the eastern ranges of Australia.
Unfortunately, eight of nine known BTRW habitats have been severely affected by fire in the last few months.
Urgency and action:
Many of the BTRWs’ homes have been incinerated partly or totally or are at imminent risk of fire. Coupled with the nation’s worst drought in recent decades, limited food and water supply are wreaking havoc on BTRW populations.
Aussie Ark is working with the New South Wales National Parks Service to coordinate a regional approach of assessment, monitoring, food drops and intervention when necessary. Aussie Ark has worked with this species long before recent events and are continuing their commitment to their survival. If emergency intervention becomes a necessity, Aussie Ark has a purpose-built, specialised facility ready to house and rehabilitate BTRWs for later release into regrown habitats.
Aussie Ark has committed to doubling its species-recovery projects to create a new facility for the northern population of the species. The Ark currently has seven purpose-built enclosures that provide homes for up to 45 wallabies. Doubling this has its obvious benefits for the species.
Current threats to the BTRW are varied but include predation by foxes and wild dogs, competition for food with feral goats and pigs, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, fire regimes that reduce the abundance and diversity of ground forage, infestation by invasive weeds causing loss and degradation of foraging habitat, and the predation of young by feral cats.
Aussie Ark, Barrington Tops, NSW