Wildlife

Have you come across sick or injured wildlife?

Save these numbers:

  • Wildcare Helpline 9474 9055 (office hours 8am-5pm)
  • WA Wildlife 9417 7105 (8.30am-7pm Mon-Sun)

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) manages the Wildcare Helpline and has its own rangers who are trained and equipped to deal specifically with wildlife.

The City's rangers are not trained, equipped or empowered by legislation to deal with wildlife – they’re more at home around cats and dogs. Our rangers are available seven days a week from 7am - 6.30pm in winter and 7am - 7pm during the rest of the year to assist you with any matters requiring ranger attendance and/or investigation, and can be contacted on 9528 0333.

ranger with a joey

 

 

Little penguins

Since 2012, the City of Rockingham has been contributing funding towards annual studies, undertaken by Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia, which aim to estimate the population of the little penguin (eudyptula minor) colony at Penguin Island. While the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is responsible for the management of the little penguins and the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, the City contributes financially and provides advice through an established working group. The working group comprises representatives from the City, DBCA, as well as two experts from Murdoch University and the University of WA, who oversee the annual monitoring and reporting.

The most recent population estimate study was conducted between September to November 2023. The Population Estimate of the Little Penguin Colony on Penguin Island During September to November 2023 is available to download below.

The City will continue to advocate for the conservation of the colony of little penguins through ongoing collaboration through the working group. We strongly encourage the community when visiting the island or the surrounding Shoalwater Islands Marine Park to help protect our environment and the little penguins.

Please keep in mind when visiting:

  • Hot weather closures are in place. The island is closed when the forecast maximum temperature for Penguin Island is 35 degrees or higher,  between 1 December to 28 February.
  • June to October annual winter seasonal closures apply.
  • Leave no litter behind. Litter poses a significant risk to our fauna including the little penguins who have died due to rubbish washed up along the beach.
  • Stick to the speed limits. An 8-knot speed restrictions is in place for all vessels in designated sensitive areas, helping to protect marine animals from boat strikes.
  • Know your zones. Although fishing is popular in Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, restrictions apply accordingly to different zones within the park. 

You can find more information by reading the DBCA Visitor Guide for Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.

     

    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.

    Snakes

    snake on wallSnakes become active every year around the beginning of September as the weather warms up. Snakes will keep to themselves unless they feel threatened. Here are some top tips to avoid a potential snake encounter:

    • Clean up around your property, getting rid of long dry grass, wood piles, building waste and household rubbish.
    • Always walk your dog on a lead and keep to paths, trails and walkways.
    • Wear enclosed shoes or boots and carry a torch if walking in bush at night as snakes are more active during this time.

    Snake first aid

    • Remain calm.
    • Immobilise the limb.
    • Apply a firm broad compression bandage starting over the bite mark. 
    • Call 000 immediately.

    Snake Bite First Aid

    Seen a snake?

    You do not need to report all snake sightings to the City.  It's best to avoid the snake altogether and give them a chance to get away.

    However, If you see a snake in one of the City's playgrounds, public toilet areas etc., please call us on 9528 0333 so we can organise a snake catcher to attend.

    If there is a snake on a private property, it is the owner's responsibility to make arrangements with a suitable snake catcher. The following list of snake catchers may be able to assist you. Please note that the City does not recommend a particular contractor.  It is your responsibility to ensure you are satisfied with the terms and service.

     

    NameLocationPhone Number
    PaulSecret Harbour0439 941 004
    JoeByford0411 657 474
    Lani Safety Bay0433 590 721

     

     

    Southwestern snake-necked turtle monitoring

    Many of the City’s wetlands are home to populations of the snake-necked turtle which are under threat from a combination of predators, such as foxes and ravens, vehicle strikes on our roads and a lack of suitable nesting habitat. 

    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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