Wildlife

For information on native animals, bird watching, poaching and dumping, feral bees and feral animal control, fishing and what to do with sick or injured wildlife.

Threats

Sick or Injured Wildlife

Birdwatching

Bees

Feral Animals in Melville

How Can You Help

About our Wildlife

The City of Melville is home to an abundance of wildlife, from mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. For a list of animal species found in Melville, please see the Natural Area Asset Management Plan Appendix Fauna Inventory.

Threats to wildlife

Our native wildlife is at risk from:

  • Predation from feral species
  • Competition with feral species
  • Human interference causing disease spread
  • Poaching
  • Loss of habitat
  • Injury from dog/cat attacks and road incidents
  • Feeding bread and other processed foods, leading to dependence on feeding and often causing a range of diseases and malnutrition.
  • Rubbish dumping, including fishing line in our rivers

Sick or Injured Wildlife

If you find sick or injured wildlife:

  • You should safely pick up the animal with both hands (keeping your hands away from any mouth areas or sharp claws)
  • Cover the animal with a light towel or cloth it helps to calm the animal and to protect you.
  • Transport the animal in an enclosed box with airholes to any of the following:
    • Murdoch Veterinary Hospital 24 hour Emergency Centre: 1300 652 494
    • Native Arc (Bibra Lake): (08) 9417 7105
    • Or call the Wildcare Hotline: (08) 9474 9055 (24 hours)
  • Common animals to look out for are Bobtail Lizards, native birds such as Black Cockatoos, and Southern Brown Bandicoots
  • If the animal is unharmed but wandering across the road, such as a long-necked turtle, you can move the animal to the side of the road in the same direction it is heading. Do not try to take it back to water. See the attached guide on what to do if you find a turtle.

Bird Watching in Melville

Melville has a big variety of bird species. For information on the best bird watching locations, please see our Bird Watching Guide.

Bees

Feral Bees

The European Honeybee is an introduced pest to our bushlands, and has many negative effects on our environment. The City of Melville engages a contractor each year to remove bee hives from our bushlands.

The impacts of Feral Bees include:

  • Competing for natural tree hollows with other hollow-nesting species such as birds and possums
  • Competing for nectar with native bees and birds
  • Aggressive behaviour that can result in feral bees taking over used hollows and killing chicks/young
  • Damage to our delicate wildflowers due to being much larger than native bees and insects that would normally pollinate these flowers

Native Bees

Australia has nearly 2,000 species of native bee which form a vital part of the ecosystem by pollinating native plants.  They are highly adapted to the local environment and are much more effective at pollinating our plants that their European counterpart.

Some of the native bees include the Blue-banded Bee and Leaf cutter Bee. For more information, see the Australian Native Bee Research Centre website.

Backyard Hives

There is a growing trend of keeping bees in backyard hives, due to its marketing as a sustainable practice. Most native bees do not live in colonies and thus are not suitable for use in cultivation of honey, therefore there is a preference

If backyard hives are not properly managed, they can swarm and create new hives that often take up residence in our bushlands and add to this pest problem. Please see the Department of Agriculture and Food website for more information on becoming a bee keeper and correct management of hives.

If you are interested in having a Backyard Hive, please contact the City of Melville for approval. We recommend not having hives if you live close to a bushland area.

Feral Animals in Melville

This section covers the most common feral species in Melville, the problems caused and how they are controlled. The most common feral animals found in Melville are:

  • Foxes
  • Rabbits
  • European honey bee
  • Cats
  • Corellas
  • Rainbow Lorikeets

The Problem with Feral Animals

Feral animals create a number of issues:

  • They prey on or take the place of local native animals
  • They can contribute to biodiversity decline, eg, vegetation loss
  • They can spread disease
  • Urban feral animals can become habituated to humans and/or become backyard pests.

City of Melville Feral Animal Control Program

 

Foxes, Rabbits and Cats

Foxes and cats are caught at night using traps and the animals are then removed from reserves. If fox dens are located, they are destroyed where possible to prevent other foxes from moving in.   

Rabbits are managed using virus releases, including Rabbit haemorrhagic Disease, Calici virus and strains of Myxomatosis.  Rabbit warrens are located and mapped and the warrens are destroyed. Pindone baits are not used in many of the City of Melvilles reserves due to the presence of Quenda or Southern Brown Bandicoots.
 
The control of rabbits needs to be undertaken at the same time as fox and cat removals to prevent them from preying on native animals when their rabbit food source is reduced.

European Honey Bee

Feral bees are opportunistically controlled wherever they occur in bushland areas. As they have a tendency to inhabit artificial nest boxes, the boxes are monitored regularly for signs of infestation. Any boxes that have not been used by native birds or bats for a number of years are removed to reduce the risk of feral bee invasion.

Corellas and Rainbow Lorikeets

These species are not currently controlled by the City. The Department of Parks and Wildlife is looking at ways to manage these animals.

Australian Raven

Ravens are a native species and are therefore protected under State Wildlife legislation. Department of Parks and Wildlife are the governing body concerning all of our native wildlife. The City of Melville does not conduct culls of Ravens in urban areas.

How can you help?

Help us to protect our native wildlife:

  • Report poachers
  • Report suspicious behaviour and/or dumping in waterways to FISHWATCH (1800 815 507 or visit the Department of Fisheries website).
  • Don't dump aquarium material in our waterways, parks or reserves- if you no longer want your aquarium plants and animals, sell or donate them.
  • Take sick or injured animals to a local animal rescue shelter
  • Don't remove native plants from the environment
  • Volunteer at a rehabilitation centre or environment centre
  • Monitor native wildlife and your local areas and report unsual or worrying environmental issues to the City of Melville
  • Report Feral animal occurrences to the Environmental Officer.
  • Keep your dogs under control while out in our parks and reserves (as sometimes the very best dogs find it hard to resist a good chase!)
  • Plant native plants in your garden that are food and habitat for our wildlife
  • Don’t feed native wildlife
  • Put old fishing line into specialised fishing line bins, located at many of our jetties around Melville
  • Place your rubbish in the bins provided.