Brush-tailed rock wallabies affected by NSW bushfires need more help to survive

Aussie Ark says it has a purpose-built area at Barrington Tops ready to house and rehabilitate brush-tailed rock wallabies that bushfires have put under further threat.

A number of the wallabies, which are listed in NSW as endangered, have been found dead in bushfire-hit national parks.

Aussie Ark has been working with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to assess and monitor the species, as well as intervene with food drops.

Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner said some had died from starvation and dehydration, while others were struck by vehicles as they searched for food, water and shelter.

"To find deceased wallabies is an absolute kick in the guts," Mr Faulkner said.

"Encouragingly up to 30 were found residing near water bodies."

Areas known to house brush-tailed rock wallabies had been incinerated or were "at imminent risk of fire".

The fires and drought have combined to limit food and water for the species.

Aussie Ark and National Park and Wildlife Service workers provide food for rock wallabies.

Aussie Ark and National Park and Wildlife Service workers provide food for rock wallabies.

"Areas that haven't been fire-affected are still drought-affected. The wallabies are hanging on," he said.

Mr Faulkner said food drops and camera monitoring were critical. Cameras had captured a female wallaby carrying young in her pouch and another pair mating.

"Food drops can buy time, giving the wallabies nourishment and hydration until the rain comes," he said.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service targeted food drops for rock wallabies in the Blue Mountains, Jenolan and the Port Macquarie-Hastings area.

Mr Faulkner said there were encouraging signs that food drops were working.

He added that the NSW government's contribution to the matter was welcome.

"It is buying the wallabies time until conditions improve," he said.

"Areas that haven't been fire-affected are still drought-affected. The wallabies are hanging on."

"Areas that haven't been fire-affected are still drought-affected. The wallabies are hanging on."

If emergency intervention becomes necessary, Aussie Ark has a specialised site ready to "house, rehabilitate and re-release brush-tailed rock wallabies".

It already has seven purpose-built sites with about 45 wallabies at its Barrington Tops sanctuary. But the organisation has committed to double its "insurance population" within a new site.

He said the rock wallabies had lost almost 80 per cent of their habitat to fire and their recovery was uncertain.

"We need species and habitat recovery to ensure their future," he said.

He said Aussie Ark could help the species recover, but public-private partnerships were key.

"We can keep them safe, we can move them into sanctuaries but they belong in the wild," he said.

Aussie Ark is collecting donations to help continue its work at aussieark.org.au.

This story Bushfire-hit rock wallabies need help to survive first appeared on Newcastle Herald.