Plants, animals, birds and insects
Feral animal control
The City undertakes a biannual feral animal control program in bushland and coastal nature reserves. The program targets introduced pest species that present a risk to Australian native animals and plants. Through predation and competition for food, the presence of feral animals can result in significant impacts on the ecosystem. Feral animals can also cause production and financial losses for the agricultural industry.
Protecting your pets
The City’s contractors use the RHDV1 K5 virus approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority for the control of feral rabbits. This commenced on 5 November 2018. Rabbit owners are advised that up-to-date vaccinations and insect-proofing of hutches will safeguard domestic rabbits against RHDV1 K5 and other diseases that occur in Australia. Please speak with your local vet for further advice.
Pet owners can assist in the protection of native animals by:
- keeping dogs on a leash in public places unless in an off-leash area
- sterilising and micro-chipping pets
- preventing cats from roaming.
Information sheets are provided below to offer more specific animal information.
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The opportunity to witness waterbirds like ducks and swans in a natural setting can be relaxing and enjoyable. Some people may even seek closer interaction by hand feeding them. Although no harm is intended when doing this, you may be unintentionally causing health and welfare issues for the birds. For more details, read the Feeding waterbirds information sheet.
For most of the year magpies are not aggressive but please keep in mind that during early spring when they are nesting, they can become more aggressive. For four to six weeks during nesting they will often defend their territory vigorously. People walking past may be seen as 'invaders' of their territory, prompting the magpies to fly low and fast over the person clacking their bills as they pass overhead. The experience of a magpie attack can be quite alarming but it is usually only a warning. Only occasionally will a bird actually strike the intruder on the head with its beak or claws.
There are ways of reducing the risk of physical injury from a magpies. If a magpie swoops at you:
- walk quickly and carefully away from the area
- avoid walking there when magpies are swooping
- make a temporary sign to warn other people
- magpies are less likely to swoop if you look at them
- try to keep an eye on the magpie, at the same time walking carefully away
- alternatively, you can draw or sew a pair of eyes onto the back of a hat, and wear it when walking through the area
- try wearing your sunglasses on the back of your head
- wear a bicycle or skateboard helmet.
- any sort of hat, even a hat made from an ice cream container or cardboard box, will help protect you
- carry an open umbrella, or a stick/small branch above your head but do not swing it at the magpie, as this may provoke an attack.
If you are riding a bicycle when the magpie swoops, get off the bicycle and wheel it quickly through the area. Your bicycle helmet will protect your head. You can also try:
- attaching a tall, red safety flag to your bicycle
- holding a stick/branch as a deterrent
- using cable ties to create spikes through the holes in your helmet will also deter magpies swooping.
Please report any particularly persistent and aggressive magpies to the City via our general enquiry form or call us on 9528 0333. A City officer will investigate and temporary signage may be installed.
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Bee swarms occur when a nest becomes overcrowded as the queen and a large number of bees leave to set up a new nest. A stationary bee swarm (on a tree for example) is resting and is harmless if left alone. Resting bee swarms usually move on within 24 hours.
The City enlists qualified apiarists to rehome bee nests reported on council property and public open spaces. For all reporting of bee nests on City property please contact us.
For bees on your private property or to keep bees please see visit pest control.
To report bees on utilities please refer to the relevant owner: