Wildlife carers in the area say they're facing a situation they've never before experienced, as weak, undernourished and abandoned animals stream in the doors.
But despite the troubling plight of the native birds, reptiles and animals, there does seem to be a glimmer of hope - and ways people can help.
One carer says that, if a bush legend is true, there could be a good season on the way, and people are being asked to donate either cash or goods to tide the animals over.
Longtime carers David McKinnon and Kerrie Rule have described the past several months as an unusually tough time in their world.
Mr McKinnon, who looks after native birds at his Tamworth home and is the WIRES central northern chairman, said the region's three or four principal joey carers were "all overloaded - way overloaded".
"We've never seen [the joeys] too weak to almost move," he said.
"I've been called out to kangaroos just lying on the ground.
"I've never, ever seen it - I mean, they're wild animals that survive everything; they're not surviving this drought."
Mr McKinnon said there were also up to a couple of dozen birds in care.
"Their parents are abandoning them and we've had such strong winds that they're being blown out of nests," he said.
"Once they lose the connection with parents, you can't get it back."
'It's got to be extreme'
Ms Rule is looking after two galahs herself at her Bendemeer home - along with 10 joeys and two possums - and said one of the birds had simply been shunned.
"Its parents were still there but wouldn't feed it; they [chose] the other one," she said.
Mr McKinnon said animals often came in injured, but the "abandonment of young [was] really odd - it's got to be extreme for that to happen".
In a normal year, it could cost $2000 in milk powder and related items needed to rear a joey from pinkie to release, Ms Rule said - now it was even pricier.
"They're not to their standard of growth they usually come in at," she said.
"They're undernourished, undersized and compromised, because mum hasn't been able to keep up with them ...
"It's more intensive trying to get them to build back up again."
However, Ms Rule said, better times could be on the way.
"I heard years ago ... that when kangaroos have their joeys, when they're having females it seems to be they're getting ready for a good season," she said.
"Last season we had, I'd say, 90 per cent males come in; this season it's about 70 per cent females."
Mr McKinnon said carers were always very welcome, but there were other ways people could help.
They could leave bowls of water outside for wild animals, which were often hurt or stressed while trying to get to distant sources of water.
"That's especially for people on the edge of bushland or reserves ... where a lot of animals will have access to it - but even in backyards for possums and things, which are mostly urban."
Veggie scraps could also be left out and he'd even known animals to burrow into compost heaps looking for them.
"One problem with food, of course, is they can become dependent on it," Mr McKinnon said.
"If people can commit to long-term feeding then that's good, but if they're going to do it for a month and lose interest, that could cause hardship."
- If you're interested in becoming a WIRES carer, visit wires.org.au/rescue/become-a-rescuer
- If you'd like to donate cash, visit wires.org.au/donate/ways-to-help
- If you'd like to donate food such as kangaroo pellets, hay, birdseed or meat, it can be dropped to Mr McKinnon at 164 King George V Avenue, Tamworth