Wildlife Flood Recovery

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Many areas of eastern Australia that were devastated by the 2019/20 Black Summer Fires are now inundated by floods.


Wildlife across Australia have been impacted by natural disasters including bushfires in 2020 and now floods in 2021 & 2022. If you would like to help wildlife that you find in your backyard or in Australia’s big backyard, we have put together some tips on the best way to help our backyard buddies.



What should I do if I find injured or orphaned wildlife?

If you find injured or orphaned wildlife you should contact local wildlife volunteers.

  • Keep small children, cats and dogs away from the animal to minimise stress.
  • Cover and contain small animals in a box lined with a towel if you are confident handling that animal.
  • Keep the animal inside in a quiet place, allowing it to rest with no disturbance.
  • Offer water by placing it in front and below them, never pour water from a bottle or other containers into an animal’s mouth.
  • Don’t give food to injured animals.
  • Do not attempt to handle snakes, flying-foxes or microbats.


What is the best way to rescue wildlife in floods?

The first rule of rescue is to ensure that you are safe. Only by caring for yourself can you care for wildlife.

Remember animals caught in floods will be distressed and may become dangerous so minimise any attempt to handle animals yourself.

Attach a ramp or flotation device to the side of the area inundated (such as a rope threaded through a pool noodle). This will allow wildlife to escape if they fall in. Check it regularly if possible.


Should I leave food out for wildlife?

Native animals have very specific food requirements. Feeding wildlife is normally discouraged as it can cause dependency, encourage pests and spread disease. This advice is for short term feeding in areas where extreme drought and bushfire has created exceptional circumstances.

  • Don’t set up feed stations in National Parks without permission.
  • Use hay for macropods and wombats, but don’t put it in bushland as it may cause the spread of weeds.
  • Use macropod or goat pellets for kangaroos and wallabies.
  • Put chopped fruit in a bucket and hoist into trees with a rope for bats & possums.
  • Remove uneaten food and clean food containers every day or two.
  • Don’t feed wildlife bread, avocado, chocolate, sugar, honey, dairy products, ‘wildlife balls’, dog or cat food.
  • Put bird seed in an accessible container, don’t scatter it on the ground.

Find out more about your buddies


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