How to keep wildlife safe during the heatwave
- Credit: Jan van Oosthuizen
With temperatures soaring over the coming days, caring for vulnerable people and pets should not be the only concern, but wildlife all around us is affected as well.
Chicks of nesting birds such as swifts, starlings and sparrows are particularly affected by the heat.
As the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) explains: "Having convenient supplies of clean water can make a huge difference to the survival of local wild species such as birds, butterflies and small mammals, during times of extreme heat and drought."
In an attempt to escape the furnace that their nests have now become, the baby birds will leave their nests prematurely and can be found of the ground. The chicks will need to be taken to a local wildlife rescue as they will be suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, Helpwildlife.co.uk said.
Chicks of swallows and house martins will have their mud nests in a vulnerable position as well as the scorching temperatures could eventually collapse it. Some of the birds that do fall from their nests might not survive and possibly die. Those that do survive will need to be referred to a wildlife rescue, they added.
NWF recommends setting up a drip jug near the birdbath, which will allow water to fall into the birdbath.
For smaller critters such as hedgehogs, small bowls of water will help quench their thirst. While the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) recommends placing a stick or stone in a bigger bowl so that the animal can climb its way out of the bowl after it they have had some water.
Along with requiring water, animals might also need some assistance with heat stress. According to Treehugger, a website about sustainability, when animals get overheated and dehydrated, they will have similar symptoms to human being, as well as confusion, loss of balance, and collapsing. If you see animals that are usually in the trees on the ground, or if they're normally nocturnal and you see them during the day, chances are something is wrong.
A few local wildlife rescues to help surrounding wildlife can be found on www.helpwildlife.co.uk.