WOW! Wildlife watering group makes a splash

Ian Bushnell 13 January 2020 39
Water our wildlife

‘Customers’ (as they’re sometimes called) hoping in for a drink. Photos: Supplied.

A simple idea to place containers of water in Canberra neighbourhoods or reserves to aid thirsty wildlife during the drought has received a flood of support.

In just three weeks, Water Our Wildlife, started by Anna Reimondos of Weston and her friends Claire Stewart, Michele Woods and Alexandra Craig, has swollen to more than 4000 members via their Facebook page, with more than 500 watering stations established across the ACT.

The group has been inundated with offers of containers, big and small, from theatre nurses at Calvary Public Hospital, the Salvos at Fyshwick and the Green Shed at Mitchell.

But there’s no central donation or collection point. Offers on the Facebook page are taken up by any interested member, who then takes responsibility for their own stations.

Grace Standish

Grace Standish fills her clamshell station.

It’s more organised chaos than a movement and Ms Reimondos, a demographer at the ANU, says the response has been very surprising. She is not a wildlife expert but loves animals and has established various rescue groups and charities, including the Lost Pet Database.

“Maybe it’s because a lot of people feel quite helpless with everything that’s going on and this is a small thing they can do to help,” she said.

The idea sprung from Ms Reimondos putting water out in the yard for the local magpies.

“It got me and my friends thinking about all the animals in the reserve, how they don’t have anywhere to have a drink of water,” she said. “We started putting a few tubs out and thought we’d have a map so people could plot where the tubs are and help each other, and it’s just taken off.”

Water station map

Where the stations are in the ACT.

The map has been key, and there are even micro-communities such as the chat group established for people who live around Mount Stromlo so they can help coordinate filling each others’ tubs.

She has started visiting stations to verify them and members are asked to check on their stations to ensure they are still working as some larger animals like kangaroos can break them.

Container sizes range from small bowls for tiny creatures, including insects, to kitty litter containers for birds to clamshells for the bigger animals.

People are encouraged to place sticks in them so if any creature falls in they can get out.

Reginald Diego and Sandra Ampoloquio

Reginald Diego and Sandra Ampoloquio at their station.

For those with stations in more isolated locations, motion sensor video cameras are available on loan so they can see what animals turn up to drink.

But the brief is just for water, says Ms Reimondos, not food, which can be a complex and controversial matter.

She says that until there is ”good, proper rain”, people will keep putting out their tubs, and will likely return next summer the way the climate is changing.

While people power is obviously working, something less anarchic would also be welcome.

“It would be great to see more permanent water stations put out by the government as well,” she said.

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39 Responses to WOW! Wildlife watering group makes a splash
Sue Sayers Sue Sayers 10:02 pm 15 Jan 20

We are back to feeding the magpies that we feed every year during Sept to Nov. They are coming back for a bit of food, but most noticeable, fresh water. I guess every little bit helps.

Steve Kendall Steve Kendall 5:44 pm 15 Jan 20

I have read it can also attract snakes so be careful.

Alison Hall Alison Hall 11:24 pm 14 Jan 20

I saw a bunch of magpies hanging around the fire hose at work - just waiting for a drop of water to come out. It was funny but sad too that even the birds are desperate for water. They come to us at hoping we’ll help them out with a drink or snack- I’m guessing there’s not too many worms for then to dig for.😋

Georgie Horner Georgie Horner 9:06 am 14 Jan 20

I was planning on running up some lettuce and carrots up to Bruce Ridge today, I was wondering if there is a water station up there??

Kamia Harris Kamia Harris 9:05 am 14 Jan 20

Adding a rock or something might help little animals not to drown. Shallow might be good for some animals.

Sophie Holsman Sophie Holsman 9:27 pm 13 Jan 20

Garran! Look at the tiny joey!

Margus von Tihemetsa Margus von Tihemetsa 8:28 pm 13 Jan 20

Hey Terry, check this out :)

Joseph Suwedi Joseph Suwedi 7:11 pm 13 Jan 20

How can I join, doing it at Majura mountain, 60L container. If someone has of that size I will be glad to buy from you. I bought this at greenshade but need 2 more. Thanks

Alida Cross Alida Cross 4:32 pm 13 Jan 20

I have sent a request to join this group. I have been raiding compost bins at the back of supermarkets looking for greens that are suitable for Kangaroos etc and have been dropping it around Mt Ainslie. Maybe others could also do this as sooo much food is wasted and could be out to good use.

Jeffrey Wilkes Jeffrey Wilkes 3:19 pm 13 Jan 20

Great work guys, and koala's love them under their trees too👍

Clare Gallon Clare Gallon 1:33 pm 13 Jan 20

They make watering stations for humans to refill bottles, why not make some semi permanent ones for wildlife?

Ebs Scott Ebs Scott 11:58 am 13 Jan 20

Yep our front lawn is the only green spot in Royalla

rationalobserver rationalobserver 11:32 am 13 Jan 20


The ACT has the largest over population of Kangaroos in Australia.

Drought is natures way of keeping that unsustainable populations in check.

Stop interfering (and inadvertently extending the suffering) just to boost your own sense of self worth !

Kelly Michelle Kelly Michelle 9:47 am 13 Jan 20

Also this design

Kelly Michelle Kelly Michelle 9:20 am 13 Jan 20

    Kelly Michelle Kelly Michelle 9:24 am 13 Jan 20

    Found this awesome water station design which may work well for those wanting to help and they less likely to get knock over , smaller creathers can get a drink to, and brids wont drown in them as one did when i put a bucket out.

Hayley Jade McMillan Hayley Jade McMillan 7:58 am 13 Jan 20

Tom Midson the clam shell

Wendy Anderson Wendy Anderson 7:53 am 13 Jan 20

We saw someone doing this in our son and his familys suburb of Throsby,the kangaroos where certainly grateful?

John Lafferty John Lafferty 7:43 am 13 Jan 20

1000l food grade tank and two auto refill dog bowl. Natives have been loving it.

Lou Gleeson Lou Gleeson 6:45 am 13 Jan 20

A bucket of water will help sustain life.

Christine Collins Christine Collins 3:26 am 13 Jan 20

Matthew Lamb-this is the group I was telling you about 💚

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