Helping Wildlife in Drought
The drought continues to tighten its grip in NSW, causing more hardship for farmers and livestock. Our native wildlife is also suffering greatly, especially now the breeding season has begun. WIRES Northern Rivers is receiving an increase in calls for wildlife in trouble.
There are things we all can do to help.
Providing fresh clean drinking water that is replaced each day is vital. Shallow dishes such as glazed ceramic pot plant saucers can be placed under shrubbery for small mammals, lizards and frogs and also in a protected position on a higher platform for birds. Remember to include a rock or stick so that the smaller animals and birds can get out easily. You will be amazed at how quickly word gets out and how many different species will utilise this life saving water.
WIRES do not recommend feeding birds as an unbalanced or incorrect diet will cause health problems, even more so when birds feed it to their growing chicks. Increasing the natural food in your gardens is more beneficial.
Most birds feed their chicks insects, which are a complete food package. Keeping a quiet corner of your garden watered with a sprinkler for a short period each day will encourage a range of insects and provide easier digging for bandicoots. Flowering trees and shrubs can be watered with grey water to encourage fresh blossoms. Keep a compost heap and turn it over every few days to expose the myriad of insects and worms. Don’t use insecticides or rodent baits.
Wallabies and kangaroos may venture in closer to houses and road sides seeking some green pick. As always, keep domestic pets contained and take care driving on roads, particularly at dusk and dawn.
Many native animals drown in cattle water troughs. They will try to access the water but if they fall in they cannot get back out. A simple solution to this is to put in a stick or hang a rope from the edge of the trough so that any animal that fall in can climb back out.
Please spare a thought for our amazing and diverse wildlife who also struggle to survive during these difficult times.
Photo credit: Julie Marsh
An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Now is also a great time to join WIRES and start learning to be a wildlife rescuer. Our 24-hour hotline is for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers – call 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr.org/Helping.html to find out how you can help.