Wildlife

The City of Nedlands is home to a vast array of native animals including a diverse variety of Turtles, spiders and frogs. Remnant bushland areas and greenways are vital to sustaining wildlife as they provide food, shelter and breeding sites. 

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and other pressures such as feral animal predation and climate change, some wildlife such as the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo and Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, are threatened with extinction.  Fortunately, both species of cockatoo are known to have roost sites within the City of Nedlands. 

The City endeavours to improve habitat for wildlife by managing and protecting remnant bushland areas, creating greenways, controlling feral animals and installing wildlife protection signage along roads where appropriate. 

The Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions is the responsible organisation for managing and assisting wildlife in Western Australia. It has a 7-day, 24-hour Wildcare Hotline 9474 9055. It also has a Wildcare Helpline app Wildcare Helpline - Apps on Google Play or Wildcare Helpline on the App Store (apple.com) which can assist you in the below for further information: 


Turtles
 

Oblong Turtles are found within the City at Masons Gardens. They have a long, snake-like neck and the females can travel up to 1 km to lay their eggs. In Spring the mature turtles can be found nesting in residential gardens and crossing roads to lay their eggs away from their watery home. Then roughly 6 – 7 months later their hatchlings can be seen crossing roads on their journey to find a home at Masons Gardens. Unfortunately, this makes both the turtles and the hatchlings susceptible to injury and death from predation by animals and motor vehicle accidents. 

Threats to our Oblong Turtles include: 

  • Feral animal predation – cats and foxes  
  • Domestic animal predation and injuries resulting from inadequate dog control 
  • Bird predation  
  • Vehicle injuries and death  
  • Illegal poaching activities 
  • Poor water quality and habitat loss 

As native animals, Oblong Turtles are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 therefore removing native animals or keeping them is against the law.  

What to do if you find a turtle crossing the road?  

  • Keep your distance and assist them in the direction they are heading; 
  • Ask dog owners to keep their dogs away from the turtle; 
  • If Ravens are attacking the turtle shoo them away; 
  • Do not return mature turtles to the ponds as they will then need to make the dangerous journey a second time to lay their eggs away from the ponds; 
  • If you find a small hatchling please assist it towards Masons Gardens; and 
  • Be a responsible cat owner.  Find out about the City’s Responsible Cat Ownership program. 

If you find an injured turtle, call the Wildlcare helpline on 9474 9055 or the Turtle Oblonga Rescue and Rehabilitation Network TURTLE OBLONGA RESCUE & REHABILITATION​ NETWORK - About us (turtleoblonganetwork.org.au) 


Possums
 

Brushtail Possums are tree-living, nocturnal native marsupials, protected under State and Commonwealth legislation. They are among the most adaptable of native mammals and live in a variety of habitats often favoring open forest and woodland areas with older trees that provide tree hollows where they sleep during the day.  

Brushtail Possums are common within the City’s bushland, residential and parkland areas and with the gradual loss of urban bushland, possums have adapted to living in domestic areas such as roof spaces.   

Generally, possums and humans live together without any problems however, in some instances, they can be a nuisance by making noises or causing damage to ceilings and gardens. Unfortunately, in some cases home-owners wrongly identify possums in their roof space as rodents and commence a baiting program targeting rodents.  

It is important for residents to ensure that any rodent baiting does not cause off-target damage not only to their domestic animals but to other native animals such as possums and bandicoots.  In order to ensure no off-target damage occurs the baiting program needs to ensure only the target species (rodents) can access the bait.  

Possum Deaths 2019-2021 

Following reports of several Brushtail Possum deaths across the City of Nedlands between February 2019 and February 2021 City officers confirmed, by autopsy investigation, that one death was attributed to high doses of rodent bait and two deaths were attributed to head injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle. This discovery highlights how important it is for residents to ensure correct rodent baiting processes are followed. 

How can you help possums live safely in the City? 

  • If you find a sick or injured possum contact the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055  or refer to the Wildcare app Wildcare Helpline - Apps on Google Play or Wildcare Helpline on the App Store (apple.com) which can assist you in the event you find an injured native animal; 
  • If walking your dog at night, keep it on a leash, keep your cats inside and drive carefully; 
  • Report bush fires to emergency services as soon as you see a bush fire as possums often suffer injuries and death during bushfires; 
  • Plant a native garden to support possum habitat; and 
  • Please follow the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions advice on how to deal with possums on your property.

 

Snakes 

As the weather starts to warm in Spring, snakes (primarily Dugites (Pseudonaja affinis)) can be encountered in or adjacent to bushland areas in the suburbs of Swanbourne, Mt Claremont and Shenton Park.  

Snakes can also occasionally be found in residential areas adjacent to bushland areas where they become disorientated and are seeking an escape route back to their bushland homes.  

Please remember that when visiting the City’s bushland areas, it is important to stay on designated pathways and walk your dog on a leash. This will help to ensure the safety of you and your pets. 

More Information  

If you find a snake on your property during office hours, please contact the City’s Rangers to remove it for you. If this occurs outside office hours, please call a licensed reptile remover). For advice on what to do if there is a snake on your property please refer to the information here. 


Birds
 

The City of Nedlands is home to an array of bird species. In the City’s bushland areas birds play a vital role in natural regeneration. The City encourages residents to plant locally occurring native plants through the WESROC Native Plant Subsidy Scheme and practice responsible cat ownership to support our native birds. Providing a fresh clean above groundwater source away from predators will also invite native birds to your garden and assist them during the summer months. 

Please also refer to the below links for further information: 

Swooping Magpies 

Magpies nest between August to October each year and at times and in certain locations in order to protect their young or eggs they may swoop humans. Magpies are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and cannot be harmed or moved in any way.  

For more information please refer to the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions – Parks and Wildlife Service fauna note for Living with magpies - Parks and Wildlife Service (dpaw.wa.gov.au). 

Feeding birds 

It is an offence under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 to feed birds and is problematic for several reasons including: 

  • Feeding can lead to increased aggression and stress; 
  • Causing overpopulation and reduced access to a natural balanced diet leading to malnutrition and deformities; 
  • Increased breeding of vermin such as rats and cockroaches due to excess food available; 
  • Increased dependency on humans leads to reduced ability to forage for food and even death of baby birds due to an inability to survive on their own; 
  • Inviting birds closer to human areas where threats such as predation from cats and dogs or injuries from car strikes may occur; 
  • Noise complaints due to increased activity and birds flocking to areas where they are being fed; 
  • The decline of water quality in wetland areas due to decay of uneaten food; and 
  • Decline in some bird species as other more dominant species increase.  

For more information please refer to Why you should not feed wild animals - Parks and Wildlife Service (dpaw.wa.gov.au)