Food and water stations stocked with specially-developed biscuits have been set up around Kosciuszko National Park to provide emergency rations to endangered pygmy possums affected by the NSW bushfires.
The Dunns Road fire, which is currently burning in the Snowy Mountains area, hit the national park earlier in January.
The impact of the fires on the mountain pygmy possum population is not yet known but NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said sites where the marsupials live had been burned.
“Temperatures in those areas were close to 70C so the priority was getting access to these spots to check on the possums,” Mr Kean said in a statement on Wednesday.
It’s hoped the possums, which normally live under boulder fields, burrowed to shelter from the fires and that those living at higher altitudes weren’t impacted.
So far 20 custom-built stations have been installed at three pygmy possum sites in the park. They’ve been stocked with “Bogong biscuits” to provide emergency food and water.
The biscuits are made from a nutritionally-verified powder of natural ingredients and replicate the nutritional value of Bogong moths – one of the pygmy possums’ main foods.
Fifty feeder and 50 drinking stations have been built and are filled with 10 kilograms of biscuits.
Fires are still not contained in Kosciuszko National Park which remains closed.
Threatened species officers helped by National Parks and Wildlife Service fire crews were the first to access the fire grounds to provide an emergency response for the possums.