Hot little squirrels falling from trees – The Ukiah Daily Journal

To survive this week’s historic heat wave, much of the Bay Area’s wildlife finds comfort in deep burrows, wet mud or thick bushes.

But the little tree squirrel, unable to dig or climb, falls from tall trees – descends into a great mess.

Wildlife rescue groups in the Bay Area, dubbed the “squirrel balooza,” have reported a wave of distressed animals and are mobilizing teams to rescue the rodents using ice packs, fluids, medication and special diets.

Buffy Martin Tarbox from . said: Peninsula Humane SocietyWhich treats 101 squirrels. Due to dehydration and occasional injury, the youngsters “do not have the climbing skills to stand up again.”

The Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley The care for 188 squirrels, CEO Laura Hawkins said, with more expected. Of these, 138 are placed in small cages stacked on shelves, and 50 are being cared for in volunteer homes. At one point, 14 squirrels arrived in an hour.

“Everyone here serves squirrel feed,” Hawkins said. To ease the workload, the center invites additional volunteers to rotate during four-hour work shifts.

in San Rafael Wild Care“All the young children we’ve admitted this week have shown symptoms of hyperthermia,” said Alison Hermans, director of communications, who is also seeing increased demand. San Francisco Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue He usually receives one to three squirrel chicks per week; Now, the number is increasing from four to seven every day.

Animals with heat-related problems need immediate care and constant monitoring, Hermanns said.

“As with humans, wildlife patients need cooling – but you can’t cool them down too quickly or you risk damage to the brain and other organs and death,” she said. She added that seizures are another danger.

Baby squirrels are too small to get their usual emergency IV fluids. Instead, they should be moistened with fluids injected under the skin at the back of the neck. Each one is fed with a syringe filled with a special formula. To distinguish the siblings from each other, they may wear a colorful touch of nail polish on the ear.

Other animals are also feeling the heat, with centers reporting an increased need for felines, skunks, opossums, cows, some songbirds and cavity-dwelling birds such as woodpeckers.

“We definitely saw a slight increase in bobcats,” said Ashley Kwik, CEO of Bobcats. Wildlife Breeding and Rehabilitation Center In Morgan Hill. The center usually sees one or two but is now treating four, including a young man found by hikers on a trail in Carmel.

On Wednesday, the Knut Creek Lindsay Wildlife Experience He received a golden eagle that was severely dehydrated.

He said heat affects wildlife in different ways, depending on the species’ exposure, physiology and behaviour Jonathan Stillmanprofessor of biology at San Francisco State University and assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reptiles, which are adapted to heat, are not stressed by our heat wave. Stillman said they require much less water than mammals, birds, amphibians, fish or aquatic animals.

Fish are highly affected by thermal surges, if the water is no longer cold and oxygenated. If possible, they will look for deeper pools to get past the crisis, they say Joe Sullivandirector of the East Bay Regional Park Fisheries Program.

Mammals such as dogs, bears, and adult squirrels do “wasteers” – flattening themselves on cold ground to reduce body heat. Mammals can sweat or pant to cool off, Stillman said. “But if we’re dehydrated, we can’t do that,” he said.

When you’re hot and thirsty, wildlife often roams around for a drink—in our yards drinking from birdbaths or digging through irrigated gardens. Deer are more likely to venture out onto road edges to eat wet vegetation in roadside ditches, putting them at risk of crashing into cars. Their corpses attract scavengers who are also in harm’s way.

Young squirrels, in whose nests there is no water source, dry out easily. Ashley Kinney, hospital director, said: Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.

Agitated and dulled, she said, “sometimes they will move to find somewhere cooler and, unfortunately, will fall out of the nest.”

If our heatwave had arrived earlier in the season, the centers say it would have been drowned out by an influx of young birds, not squirrels. Last year’s sweltering heat in the northwest in late July engulfed wildlife rescuers with young raptors that jumped from their nests in an attempt to escape the deadly temperatures.

Among the stressed squirrels, there are very few native Californians. They are almost all eastern gray squirrels, and they were released here in the 20th century from the wetter and colder east coast. Found in abundance in our gardens and yards, the species is lush, with two ventricles a year – but a heat wave in late summer can put a second litter at risk.

The native western gray squirrel does best in a late summer heat wave. She has only one litter, in the spring, and now all her offspring have left the house.

There is mounting evidence that heat waves may benefit other native species.

While invasive American frogs need water all year round, our domestic frogs can simply find small, deep burrows and breed – a form of summer hibernation. Bay area entomologist Merav Funchak said hot dry spells can limit the spread of invasive Argentine ants, as they need moisture.

“Life is suspicious,” said Stuart Weiss, chief scientist at Menlo Park. Creekside Earth Observation Center. “And we just rotated the ‘Snake Eyes.’ It was never hot before.”

“Every kind does its thing,” he said, “and then you get an event like this.” “Some will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Find a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility near you:

If you find a baby squirrel:

  • Call a wildlife rescue center and ask for advice.
  • If you pick it up, use a towel or cloth.
  • Keep it comfortable in a cool, dark and well-ventilated box
  • Do not give him food or water. Ice water can cause shock. Food can cause suction injury.

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