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The City of Rockingham COVID-19 Local Recovery Coordination Group is continuing to support the implementation of the State Government's COVID-19 WA Recovery Plan. Visit Rockingham Recovery for information, support and resources.

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Magpies

Australian magpieMagpie nesting season occurs between August and October each year. During this time magpies can swoop to protect their young from perceived threats. This is normal protective behaviour and magpies often target runners or bike riders as these activities appear threatening to them. They will typically respond to perceived threats by flying low and fast overhead and clacking their beaks as they pass. Some birds may even make contact. These occurrences are rare, but have the potential to cause injury.

Although magpies can sometimes cause fear, their behaviour is instinctive and intended to protect their offspring and provide them the best chance of survival. We investigate reports of swooping magpies to assess the bird’s behaviour on site. However, the magpie is a native species protected under the Western Australian Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, and any actions required are determined on an individual basis.

To help reduce the risk of being swooped during the short breeding season we recommend:

  • Avoiding the area if possible or take an alternate route for the weeks that the birds are nesting. Magpies typically defend a 100m radius around their nests.
  • Do not act aggressively towards a magpie. Trying to hit or throw things at them will make the situation worse. Magpies have good memories and will swoop someone who has threatened them in the past.
  • Dismount bikes and walk through the area. Fast moving bikes appear threatening to a nesting magpie.
  • Do not stop if you are swooped upon. You are still in the magpie’s territory so they will continue to swoop until you are clear of the area.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses, or carry an umbrella for head and eye protection.

Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle monitoring

Southwestern Snake-necked turtle

We did a study in 2019 that found that Southwestern Snake-necked Turtles live in numerous wetlands across the City, and in a number of urban areas.

Unfortunately those turtles living in urban areas face a number of threats, including from road traffic and predators. To address these threats, we are going to do some further monitoring of local turtle populations to find out what actions we can take to protect them.

How you can help

We have prepared an information sheet on the Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle to help you stay informed about these "not-so ninja turtles". The information sheet provides some useful pointers on identifying them, information on some of the key threats and tips on how you can help them remain a part of our local environment.

Southwestern snake-necked turtle in the grassAbout Southwestern Snake-necked Turtles

Scientific name: Chelodina colliei

Conservation status: Listed as 'near threatened' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Appearance: 

  • Distinctive oblong shaped shell, dark brown to black in colour;
  • Pale yellow underside;
  • Olive grey skin with dark mottling;
  • Streamlined head with a long neck that can grow up to 20cm in length; and
  • Webbed feet with four claws.

Size: The shell length is usually up to 30cm and the total length can be up to 50cm.

Habitat: Freshwater wetlands, lakes and rivers, including urban lakes in the Perth metropolitan region and farm dams.

Diet: Adults are underwater apex predators, generalist feeders, and opportunistic carnivores. The diet changes seasonally and consists of a broad range of macro-invertebrates, carrion, frogs and fish. Hatchlings also eat aquatic plants as well as midge and mosquito larvae.

Major threats: Injury by road traffic, predation by foxes and dogs, fencing and barriers restricting migration, illegal fishing by humans, and fragmentation of natural habitat.

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