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How drought affects wildlife

Wildlife Article taken from The Biscuit magazine Posted Jan 10, 2020
The ongoing dry conditions across Australia have had a tremendous impact on our farmers and their livestock, but the effects of this are felt also by country's most vulnerable inhabitants; our native wildlife.

Article taken from RSPCA’s Magazine The Biscuit, Issue 12. Read more animal stories by subscribing here. 

The drought's impact is far reaching; food and water available to people and livestock are low, and wildlife have access to even fewer resources. As a result, native species are forced to stray from their natural habitat in search of food and water, increasing the risk to their safety by coming into contact with unfamiliar environments.

This incredible footage was captured on a property in December of wildlife taking full advantage of a livestock water trough left filled. Can you count how many native species visited?


When wildlife are forced to search further for food and water, it presents unfamiliar challenges and as a result, their chance of being killed increases. These hazards include being run over while crossing roads, and coming into contact with other animals such as dogs or cats and being attacked.

While these risks are difficult to avoid, there is another issue closer to home that humans can control; swimming pools.

During dry conditions and heatwaves, many native animals drown in pools in pursuit of drinking water. As a pool owner, here are some easy steps to avoid this happening:

  • Check your pool regularly to see if any animals have gotten in.
  • Provide a way for a stranded animals to escape the pool. This can be a body board tied to the edge which acts as a shelf for the animal, or even a length of rope that an animal can use to climb out if it falls in.

Recently, our Animal Ambulance team were called to assist an adorable juvenile Boobook owl that had been stuck in a swimming pool, unable to get back out. Luckily the owl was rescued in time and hopefully will make a full recovery.






Sadly a kangaroo got itself into a spot of bother in November when it was caught in a dam that had dried up. Luckily Margaret and Rob who spotted the roo contacted our 1300 ANIMAL hotline for assistance.

Nellie and Dani were able to attend and slowly rescue the roo from its muddy predicament. Sadly the roo’s condition was so poor from its ordeal that unfortunately it didn’t make it.

How you can help our wildlife:

Emma Lagoon
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