Flood affected wildlife

Many native animals are displaced following extreme stormy weather events and floods. Flood water can inundate and destroy habitat, physically displacing animals and increasing competition for dry ground.

During the record setting 2022 floods across the North Coast of NSW, thousands of injured animals were taken in by wildlife hospitals and carers across the impacted region. The Agriculture and Animal Services hotline took over 1200 calls relating to injured wildlife, including possums, owls and snakes.

What to do if you find an animal in floods

If you come across displaced or injured wildlife, always seek advice from trained professionals such as private vets or wildlife carers.

During a natural disaster you can report injured wildlife to the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647 (NB: this number is not active outside these times). Alternatively, WIRES is Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation and can be contacted 365 days a year on 1300 094 737.

Animals will be assessed and treated with a view to rehabilitation and return to their habitat wherever appropriate. In the meantime:

  • Avoid feeding or giving water to the animal unless directed by wildlife carers or vets
  • Keep any domestic animals away from the wildlife.

Build flood resilient habitats to help wildlife

You can help create flood resilient habitats for wildlife by planting native vegetation on your property. Contact your nearest Landcare group for support in planning species native to your area.

An important part of creating habitat for wildlife is the retention of dead wood and instream woody debris on your property to provide habitat for wildlife. Leave fallen timber in-situ – particularly any timber with hollows, as these can take hundreds of years to form and are invaluable in both standing and fallen wood.

More information on what to do to help wildlife affected by floods

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