How Hurricane Florence May Affect Wildlife

EVACUATIONS ARE ALREADY underway in North and South Carolina in anticipation of Hurricane Florence’s arrival this weekend. But what happens to the wild animals that aren’t set up for text alerts?

Experience suggests it won’t be pretty, and stories abound from storms past. For example, in August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey nearly wiped out the last remaining population of wild Attwater’s prairie chickens in Texas. Two months later, Hurricane Irma killed off up to 22 percent of the remaining population of endangered Key deer in the Florida Keys.

And though it didn’t threaten specific species in the same way, Hurricane Matthew did drop a Cyprus tree smack dab on top of an American alligator when it ripped across Georgia in 2016.