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(Australian Associated Press)
As habitats regenerate, wildlife on fire-stricken Kangaroo Island are beginning to fend for themselves after feeding stations were set up to protect animals from starvation following the bushfires.
The bushfire appeal was launched by RSPCA South Australia after almost half the island was burnt in January.
Since then, positive signs have shown animals are beginning to find their own food, according to the organisation’s Field Operations Manager Melanie Lambert.
“In areas where the habitat is starting to grow back, we are very slowly reducing the amount of feed we are giving them, so that they will have to source food from elsewhere,” Ms Lambert said.
“We are also starting to reduce the attractiveness of what is on offer by providing pellets only, not the wet food they really love like carrots, sweet potato and corn.”
Program volunteers have also reduced the number of times they refill feeding stations to once every three days, opposed to every two.
There are 83 feeding stations set up in the north, south and west ends of the island where there is still insufficient natural feed to support the wildlife population.
Ms Lambert said the regeneration of habitats were taking place at different rates in different areas.
“There is still a lot of ash covering the ground in some areas, and it will be when Kangaroo Island finally receives a decent amount of rain that we will see the habitat start to recover much more quickly.”