With a ‘Polar Blast’ hitting our districts this week, WIRES is asking us to watch out for wildlife that may be struggling in the chilly conditions, particularly as our parklands continue to recover from the Black Summer bushfires.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) announced today (Wednesday, 9 June) much of the region will experience a significant drop in temperatures over coming days, with some areas expected to be more than 10 degrees below average, and many areas expected to be more than five degrees below.
Strong and gusty winds are expected in some areas. Significant snow falls are expected with snow levels likely to drop to near 900m and could fall as low as 500m, affecting the Blue Mountains.
Native animals are well adapted to normal changes in weather conditions, but WIRES says extended periods of wet weather and snow can still cause hypothermia. Look out for animals that may be in distress and exposed to the elements.
“Animals with existing health issues, that are very young or old, will find it harder to cope with the cold,” WIRES reports.
“Very young, injured or sick animals can succumb to hypothermia quickly if left unprotected so if you think that an animal is in distress, please act quickly by calling WIRES 1300 094 737.”
Other WIRES tips include:
- Drive to the conditions. Be alert for animals crossing roads near water sources like creeks or gullys where thick fog may occur, and their active times of dawn and dusk.
- If you are involved or witness a collision with a native animal and it is safe to do so, please stop, remove the animal from the road and check pouches and surrounding area for any young animals.
- Always check pouches where it is safe to do so as any young animals will not survive long in the cold conditions. Keep any distressed animals warm (ideally wrapped in a natural, breathable material like wool) until you can get help.
- Don’t place animals inside your clothing as it can induce stress and harm the animals chances of survival. Warm, dark and quiet means: around a constant 25 degrees, in a cage or box, lined and covered in a blanket or towel and away from human contact, noise and pets. Handle only as needed to rescue and contain safely. Do not attempt to feed.
- If you cannot reach the rescue line 1300 094 737 or if the animal is orphaned or injured take the animal immediately to the closest vet.