2017 is turning out to be a very active hurricane season in the tropics. We see the destruction as well as interruption these storms can cause for people. Damage to schools, homes and businesses that can take months if not years to rebuild. One thing is for sure, Florida will be back in shape and ready for business this season when all of our yearly snowbirds arrive for the winter.
A question that we are often asked, are animals effected by hurricanes? This simple answer is yes. Lets look at a few factors and see why even though recent hurricanes have impacted Florida, our wildlife that so many of you see on your trips to Florida will be here!
As a hurricane churns at sea the force of the winds are tremendous. The stirring up of the ocean can cool surface temperatures and raise the temperatures of the water deeper down. This disturbance and the change in temperature can cause stress on the fish and other sea life that usually thrives at these different depths. Unfortunately it can sometimes lead to death.
Not only does the sea get churned up, but once the hurricane reaches the land the habitat for our land animals can be destroyed or wiped out all together. Trees that have falling were homes to many animals. Rising rain water or possibly storm surge can trap animals and lead to drowning. Most animals will do their best to get to higher ground as this happens. Keep this in mind if you need to be in or around flooded areas after the hurricanes have past as other animals such as snakes may be looking for higher ground as well.
With severe winds stripping the trees of leaves, it also strips many plants of nuts, berries and fruit which many of our wildlife friends depend on to survive. With trees dying and flood waters rising this also contributes to food sources disappearing after a hurricane.
How Can You Help Animals After A Hurricane?
Knowing that it may be a few months before all the natural food such as berries, fruit and nuts are again available for our friends, put out some food! Set up an animal feeder. There are a number really cool feeders available with a quick search on Amazon. Animals are resilient and we are noticing many of the birds, fish and manatees are already back in the area. If you have a trip planned to Florida this winter, please come and enjoy the weather, the animals and visit us for a great paddle boarding experience!