Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.
As Phoenix, Arizona, continues to endure unrelenting triple-digit temperatures, the state’s wildlife is facing dire consequences from the scorching heat. Liberty Wildlife, a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center, has become a refuge for countless wild animals that have fallen victim to dehydration and weakness caused by the intense heatwave.
Since late June, every animal brought to Liberty Wildlife has been suffering from dehydration, making it clear that the relentless heat is taking a heavy toll on the local fauna. Baby birds, in particular, are vulnerable as the hot, dry winds are blowing them out of their nests, leaving them weak and helpless. Without feathers to shield them, these baby birds are at high risk of being baked under the unforgiving sun.
The situation in Phoenix is exacerbated by the prolonged heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees for an extended period. The nights offer no respite, with low temperatures remaining at or above 90 degrees for 17 consecutive days. The heatwave isn’t limited to Phoenix; the Southwest is experiencing excessive heat, and the central and eastern US are grappling with a summer heatwave, impacting nearly 140 million people.
Executive Director Megan Mosby, of Liberty Wildlife, reveals that this season of heat has been the worst she can remember. On a particularly challenging day, the center receives up to around 120 animal drop-offs. Over the past four years, Liberty Wildlife has treated a minimum of 10,000 animals annually, but with the intensity of the current heatwave, Mosby expects that number to reach 8,000 treated animals by the end of July.
To prevent the wildlife under their care from overheating, employees and volunteers at Liberty Wildlife work diligently, spraying the animals with water twice a day and providing water for drinking and bathing. The animal enclosures are equipped with evaporative coolers called “swamp coolers” to help maintain a tolerable environment. Despite these efforts, the constant exposure to the sun is taking a toll on both animals and caretakers.
Liberty Wildlife, with its limited staff of seven employees, receives invaluable assistance from 250 to 300 volunteers, many of whom have been arriving at their shifts with wet rags around their necks to combat the sweltering temperatures they face while working outdoors. Mosby describes the relentless sun as painful, underscoring the harsh reality of trying to care for Arizona’s vulnerable wildlife in such extreme conditions.
However, Liberty Wildlife and its dedicated team are not the only ones fighting to protect Arizona’s wildlife during this challenging period. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has also stepped in, deploying water shipments on trucks and helicopters to man-made catchments across the state. These catchments, created for quail and doves to bolster hunting populations, have grown in size over the years due to the increasing number of animals seeking water during droughts and heatwaves.
The man-made watering holes now provide a lifeline for various wildlife species, including deer, elk, and bighorn sheep, offering them a place to drink and cool off amid the oppressive heat. Joseph Currie, the habitat planning program manager, estimates that there are around 3,000 of these watering holes throughout the state. As the temperatures soar, the demand for water increases, highlighting the crucial role these catchments play in preserving Arizona’s wildlife.
The challenge of combating extreme weather and its effects on wildlife isn’t unique to Arizona; it’s a nationwide issue, particularly in the Western and Southwestern regions, where droughts and heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense. The US Fish and Wildlife Service warns that these conditions create hazardous situations and impact water supplies for wildlife, adding to the urgency of finding sustainable solutions to safeguard vulnerable animal populations.
Currently, the wildlife Conservation efforts in Arizona are funded through a combination of federal funds and fundraising initiatives. However, as the climate continues to heat up and water becomes scarcer, the costs associated with preserving and protecting wildlife will inevitably increase.
To help Liberty Wildlife’s efforts, click here.
- Record-Breaking Marine Heatwave Threatens UK and Irish Coastlines
- Climate Crisis Amplifies Mediterranean Heatwaves
- Carriage Horse Found Dead in His Stall Amid NYC’s Record Heatwave
- With Record-Breaking Heatwaves South Asia 10 Times More Exposed to Global Warming Threats Over Coming Decades
- Animal Reproduction Negatively Affected by Heat Waves Finds New Study
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!