How to help native animals in hot weather

How to help native animals in hot weather

There’s lots you can do to help native wildlife when the weath­er heats up. Here are the basics.

It’s impor­tant to remem­ber that many native ani­mals change their behav­iour in hot weath­er, includ­ing these:


Koalas spend more time on the ground to keep cool in the sum­mer. They also come down to look for water as the gum leaves they eat dry out in the hot weather.

Unless a koala is clear­ly sick or injured, or doesn’t go back to the trees at night its best to keep your pets away and let it be.

Although we have the best inten­tions when check­ing on wild ani­mals, it can cause them more stress.


Snakes will avoid the heat of the day and may be active after the sun has set, so keep an eye out on your evening walk.

If a human or ani­mal is bit­ten by a snake, seek med­ical atten­tion immediately.

Read our snake blog for more infor­ma­tion about avoid­ing snakes, and what to do if you encounter one.

Fly­ing foxes

Grey-head­ed fly­ing fox­es, or fruit bats, are becom­ing more com­mon in South Aus­tralia but they don’t cope well with extreme heat.

Adults and pups can suf­fer from heat stress and fall from their perch­es onto the ground.

It’s very impor­tant to nev­er pick up any type of bat, even if it’s dead. A small per­cent­age of bats car­ry Lyssa virus, a rabies-like dis­ease that can be passed on to humans through scratch­es or bites.

If you see a bat on the ground, call Fau­na Res­cue or Ade­laide Bat Care and they will send some­one out who has been vac­ci­nat­ed and trained to safe­ly han­dle bats.

For more infor­ma­tion vis­it liv­ing with wildlife, or check out our blog on res­cu­ing injured or strand­ed wildlife.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Decem­ber 2015.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living