How does flooding affect the animals living underground?« Back to Questions List

Rains are always welcome to re-energize our planet’s circulatory system. But too much rain is definitely a constant hazard for underground animals. Exceptionally heavy rains or rapidly melting snow may result in more water than what the channels can hold. Human activities have increased the severity of floods.

When trees are cut down, the soil loses land’s ability to soak up rainfall and release it gradually into the river system. Also by building houses along the floodplains, humans have put themselves directly in the path of floods.

underground animal

Soil is where many animals take shelter, birth and store food. From the tiny ones to the big ones, every creature living in the soil is under threat during heavy rains. When the soil gets saturated, it brings earthworms to the surface. They can be seen on the surface of soil until the water recedes. Flooding occasionally brings large animals out of their burrows as well. Reptiles like snake that live hidden become widely seen in residential areas.

As a precautionary measure, few species like the woodchucks frequently do their digging on the slopes. They cleverly slant the tunnels upward from the entrance to provide protection against floods.

Prairie dogs that live on the plains heap mounds of dirt around the entrances to their burrows. The mounds act like a dam like barrier and keep out water out of their underground chambers.Though the nutrients carried by the floods could be deposited in the plains making the soil fertile, there is also a danger of spreading deadly diseases. The best solution to the problem of flooding are to maintain healthy forests and other plant covers in catchment areas and to avoid constructions on flood plains.

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