Rock-wallabies bounding back after summer bushfires
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Northern Tablelands endangered wallabies are bounding back after drought and bushfires destroyed their habitats and population numbers.
The Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby found in Oxley Wild Rivers and Guy Fawkes River National Parks has been spotted by National Parks staff surveying the area.
Piers Thomas, Senior Conservation Planning Officer with National Parks NSW said an aerial survey of 48 known colonies in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park found the iconic animal in more than 80% of the locations.
“All of the colonies surveyed had areas of burnt habitat, yet we spotted 90 surviving individuals,” said Mr Thomas.
“Most of the colonies with surviving wallabies received emergency supplementary feeding of lucerne, sweet potato and carrots and they are most definitely bouncing back,” said Mr Thomas.
Further ground-based surveys done after the fires also identified individual wallabies that were known to researchers from before the fire, including one that has been spotted over the last 11years.
The surveys, conducted in June 2020, also revealed some young at foot that would have been in the pouch when the fire hit, and some new pouch young that may have been born since the event.
For the first time, the aerial survey extended into nearby Guy Fawkes River National Park in the upper reaches of the Aberfoyle River.
“In more good news for the species we discovered an additional 25 Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby colonies in this park and saw surviving individuals in 12 of the previously-known sites,” Mr Thomas said.
Images and video from The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.