When I first heard about "drop-bears" I thought these were just a myth.
But then I learned that this phenomenon was true and that its not at all a funny joke.
When temperatures reach more than 28°C degrees Celsius, Koalas that can not find shade and water can literally tip into a heat-induced coma and drop out of the trees dead.
This appalls me.
So, I invented a gadget to help wild creatures get a drink in places where there is no accessible water.
During four years of field trials, I have seen every level of native biodiversity come for a drink.
So, I know that the gadget works - and that wildlife will find it.
The device is very easy to make and install.
The design uses a 20-litre water container, a battery-operated low flow tap timer, a few bits of plumbing hardware and a shallow ceramic dish.
The dish is big enough to hold a one-minute drop of water from the container.
It is shallow enough so that small creatures don't drown.
The dish is placed on the ground to replicate a puddle, because that is what wildlife are used to drinking from.
It is put against a tree so that arboreal mammals, such as gliders, have an escape route close by.
There is a YouTube video that I made to help people with materials and designs to build their own dish drinking system and it also features some of mine for inspiration.
This can be seen at: https://youtu.be/vepSr1J3DIA
The "Pop-up-Puddle" is portable, durable and can be placed just about anywhere where there are native species of wildlife.
I set my timers to fill the dish every 72 hours during the hotter months of the year and turn them off in winter, so that rainfall fills the dish instead.
By adding a remote sensing camera to some, I know this puddle gadget has "topped-up the tank" of more than 40 different species that needed it.
While these native species don't send me Christmas cards or wash my ute for me in gratitude, this doesn't matter.
I get immense joy knowing that I helped some wildlife get through hot times.
I encourage you to add the "Pop-Up-Puddle" to your Christmas project list.
- Lisette Mill is the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network Inc network facilitator
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