Dehydration Kills

by Anne
on 20 July, 2018

Dehydration Kills

Butterflies and humans are having a great time in this hot weather but it’s not the same for all wildlife. 

Water is essential for all of us.

Many of the smaller species find their water from the morning dew and puddles. In this unusually hot weather we are experiencing, water evaporates and they are unable to find it. 


Earthworms, that form a vital part of the diet for many wild animals, are going into aestivation - they cannot survive in this state indefinitely and around 87% will perish. 

Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue are hit on many levels in the rescue: 

  • Just keeping inmates hydrated and water bowls topped up is a full time job.
  • Keeping the tiny orphans hydrated in between the vital bottle feeds they need to help them grow is doubling our interaction with them. 
  • Rehydrating an animal with a primary injury, such as a break from a road traffic accident, would normally take a short period but now that is prolonged.
  • They are seeing an increased number of animals with dehydration coming into the centre, especially babies who just don’t know where to go for water - they are hit the hardest as they don’t have the knowledge of surviving in a drought.

A dehydrated animal cannot feed and will not usually become hydrated with water alone. 

We use rehydration fluid for much of our wildlife. This is a simple home remedy version you can use in your garden -

1 litre of water

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

We regularly top up our water with rehydration fluid but here is a simple way we use to slow down evaporation in the outside runs.

Get a shallow and stable tray from your garden centre like this one here that is used for plants to stand in. Fill it up with gravel like this and the whole evaporation process will slow down. Wildlife can dig in the gravel during the night to find water.

Water is essential for us to survive so please spare a bowl for our wildlife and remember for these little cuties it's tough out there.