Floods play a vital role in connecting ecosystems within floodplains, wetlands, billabongs, rivers, streams and the ocean. Floodplains are important in maintaining Victoria's biodiversity, connecting rivers with fringing wetlands and the ocean to ensure many fish species can complete their life cycles and providing nutrient exchange between habitats. Flooding can also deliver long-term benefits to soils and therefore to agricultural production.

However, in some circumstances floods can have a negative impact on wildlife and livestock.

Floods and livestock

Floods can have a major impact on livestock and agriculture. For information on animal welfare or other agricultural advice during floods, visit the Department of Agriculture website

Caring for wildlife during floods

During major floods, DELWP works closely with experienced wildlife rescuers to help with the recovery and treatment of flood-affected wildlife and threatened species. We also help with the rehabilitation of their habitat.

Most Victorian wildlife is well adapted to dealing with floods and will recover quickly as the floodwaters recede.

You may see wildlife, such as snakes, lizards and kangaroos, isolated or trapped by floodwaters. Please leave these animals alone.

What you can do:

  • Take care when driving, particularly around dawn and dusk as wildlife may be    concentrated near roads following flooding.
  • Keep pet dogs and cats under control. Wildlife may be on properties following flooding and may be vulnerable to attack.
  • Keep wildlife in mind when cleaning up after a flood. Rocks and dead logs provide homes and places to search for food for many animals

If you see a distressed animal,

Page last updated: 31/01/23