Protecting native animals and insects

We celebrate all forms of life big and small in our community, learn about the most common creatures and our guidance around them.

Should you have concerns about the health and safety of native wildlife, please contact Wildlife Victoria emergency response by phone on 8400 7300 or visit the Wildlife Victoria website.

Bees

Bees play an important role in pollinating flowering plants and it is estimated that 1/3 of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee.

As urbanisation increases, humans inevitably encounter bees in their natural environment and see bees as a threat to their safety. Bees are not aggressive in nature and only sting if provoked.

 

Bee removal

Residents are encouraged to utilise an apiarist to remove bee hives and swarms as bees can be relocated to areas such as Kinglake where bee populations were devastated by recent fires. Please refer to The Beekeepers Club Inc. (Melbourne) for a list of local bee removalists (some may charge a call out fee).

You can also contact the 'Bee Help Line' on 1902 241 059 for further advice (call costs 2.20 per minute / higher for mobiles).

Eradication through a licensed pest control operator should only be considered if the swarm / hive is inaccessible to an apiarist and safety is of concern.

If a swarm or hive is found on Council land or in a neighbouring property, please contact Council on 9840 9333.

 

Keeping bees

Residents can keep bees providing they are registered with the Department of Primary Industries and comply with the Apiary Code of Practice which lists safe management practices and statutory planning requirements.

Bee keeping information sheet
Bee keeping information sheet
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Birds

Birds are an important part of our local ecosystem. They pollinate our plants and spread seeds across the landscape. Some birds help to keep our insect, rodent and spider populations low, and others fish in our creeks and the Yarra River.

You might notice that birds enjoy coming to your backyard or local park to feed. It's important that we provide habitats for these birds, so that they can continue to be a part of our ecosystem and keep these birds healthy.

 

Our local species

You can learn more about which birds call Manningham home in our Backyard Diversity video series. There's videos on the Southern Boobook Owl, Tawny Frogmouth, Laughing Kookaburra, Gang Gang Cockatoo & Barn Owl.

Watch the series

 

Birdlife Australia run an annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count, you can join in on the fun and contribute with any birds you spot in Manningham by visiting their website. Together in 2019 we produced a map of some rare sightings in Manningham, amongst the 3.4 million birds recorded across Australia for the count.

Check out the 2020 results of the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

Map of Rare Bird Sightings in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count 2019

 

How to protect our birds

Please don't feed birds, it can result in overabundant populations or dependance on humans.

Feeding sometimes leads to unfriendly behaviour from our birds for you and your neighbours, as they can't distinguish between which humans will give them food and which humans won't. For more information about feeding wildlife, please read the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's factsheet

We can continue to provide habitat for our beautiful birds by planting native flowering plants in our backyards, as well as providing them with a bird bath, so that they can clean their plumage.

Nest boxes also help birds to find a place to raise their young, where hollows in trees may be scarce.

We can also protect our birds by ensuring that we keep our domestic pets inside, as often they will hunt and hurt our native wildlife when left outside.

For more information, visit Birds in Backyards, a research, education and conservation program of BirdLife Australia.

 

Spring Outdoor Series

 

Deer

Deer are an emerging problem in Manningham with a variety of impacts for landowners including property damage, destruction of bushland and potential for road accidents. We have been working with the local community to try to prevent the spread of deer into new areas, and to minimise the impacts of deer throughout our local area. We are also collaborating with the State Government on the Victorian Deer Control Strategy.

Assistance is available to landowners through our Local Environment Assistance Fund (LEAF), including financial assistance for Deer Control. 

You can help by recording sightings and evidence of deer in your local area into the FeralScan website or App - which is a free community pest animal mapping and monitoring tool.

Record evidence of Deer activity

European wasps

European wasps can be of particular concern to health and safety when they are disturbed and become aggressive. European wasps can sting multiple times and can cause severe allergic reaction which can be life threatening to some people.

Call an ambulance (000) immediately if:

  • A child is stung more than 5 times.
  • An adult is stung more than 10 times.
  • Anyone is stung in the mouth or throat.
  • There is a severe allergic reaction (even if from only 1 sting).
  • There is history of allergic reactions to bee or wasp stings.

Residents should remain vigilant if there is an increase in number of wasps around the property and speak with neighbours in an attempt to locate a possible nest. Nests are usually found at ground level in protected locations.

Owners are responsible for the removal of wasp nests on their property and should contact a licensed pest control operator to safely and quickly eradicate the nest.

If a nest is found on Council land or on a neighbouring property, please contact us.

Foxes

It is the responsibility of each property owner to control and eradicate vermin (including rabbits, rats, mice and foxes) on their land.

Residential areas are an important food source for foxes. They forage around rubbish bins, picnic sites, compost heaps feeding also on fruit and pet food left outside. Domestic fowl, livestock and guinea pigs may fall prey to foxes if not adequately enclosed.

Foxes are generally nocturnal animals, resting during the day in many forms of shelter which may be: under houses, sheds, outbuildings or in hollow logs, rock piles, drainpipes, car bodies, under blackberry and gorse patches.

In fact, foxes may be living in your backyard or garage without you knowing it.

 

What You Can Do

A fox removed from its territory will quickly be replaced with another. It is more effective to eliminate the attraction to foxes.

  • Lock up chickens, ducks, guinea pigs and pet rabbits in a roofed enclosure at night
  • Clean up food scraps, pet food left outside and excess fruit dropped by fruit trees
  • Always cover your compost heap or use a compost bin
  • Never make foxes pets by feeding them
  • Remove blackberry and other weed thickets, which provide cover for foxes
  • Do not feed wildlife
  • If you see a fox in the area, let your neighbours know so they can take action

 

Funding and Assistance

Council offers funding assistance for landowners wanting to undertake fox control on their property.

Apply for assistance or contact Council on 9840 9326.

For more information on fox control go to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Frogs

Manningham is home to a variety of frog species, living in our rivers and creeks, ponds and even in our backyards. With good land management practices and reduction of pollution in our waterways, we can ensure our frog species continue to enjoy Manningham as a vital part of our local ecosystem.

 

Frogs of North East Melbourne Webinar

Below is a recording of our Frogs of North East Melbourne webinar for the 2020 Spring Outdoors series, this was presented by David De Angelis.

 

Frog Census

Get involved in local citizen science by recording frog species in Manningham with the Melbourne Water Frog Census App.

An easy to use app to record audio and identify frog species by their call in local waterways, parks, and on your own property.

Available for both iOS and Android.

More information, including activities for schools, is available at the Melbourne Water website.

Indian Myna

People concerned with Indian Myna populations in their neighbourhood can receive information on control options by contacting the Environment team.

Rabbits

Rabbits are one of Victoria’s most destructive and problematic pest animals, causing environmental damage by:

  • Destroying indigenous vegetation
  • Competing with native animals for food and habitat
  • Causing erosion, soil loss, and creek and river bank destabilisation

Effective rabbit control requires a variety of measures, not just one or two. There is no quick fix solution and landholders need to be persistent. The Icon for application/pdf Rabbit Control in Urban and Peri-urban Areas brochure (3.28 MB) explains control options and how to plan a successful rabbit control strategy.

Financial assistance to help control rabbits is available through LEAF grants. If you do not meet the LEAF criteria you can apply for fox and community rabbit control grants.

 

Legal Responsibility

State legislation requires all landowners to take measures to control rabbits. Control is defined as taking action to minimise impact and prevent spread.

Possums

Possums are able to survive in suburban areas because our streetscapes and gardens are similar to the possum's preferred natural environment.

Some problems that may be associated with possums include:

  • Noise: possums are often quite rowdy when they are moving within house roofs and walls. They can also be quite noisy when mating or during territorial disputes
  • Household damage: possums can create urine stains, unpleasant odours and occasional physical damage when living inside buildings
  • Damage to gardens and trees: possums are largely vegetarian and will graze on many different types of trees and shrubs including natives and exotics. This is usually only a problem when they over graze and in some cases defoliate plants.

The best way to keep a possum out of your roof is to secure your roof and provide an alternative home such as a nesting box.

If you have a possum in your roof you will need to block the access points. In the evening when the possum has left the roof in search of food, climb into the roof and try to locate its nest. Remove the nest and block any possible entry points so the possum cannot return. You may wish to leave a light on in the roof space for a few days to discourage the possum's return.

It is illegal to handle or interfere with possums except when they are in your roof, or other buildings. Brush tail possums can be trapped in appropriate traps by the householder or a licensed wildlife controller however it is illegal to trap the Common Ringtail Possum without a permit.

Trapped possums must be released that day on the same property, in their own territory, within 50 metres of the capture site. Breaching any of these regulations carries a penalty of up to $5000.

For more information on possum control, please visit Department of Energy and Primary Industries.

If you have concerns about native wildlife refer to the information below or visit Wildlife Victoria.

  • Possums - Refer to the Yellow Pages
  • Injured Wildlife (including birds) - Help for Wildlife 24 hour service 0417 380 687, or Wildlife Victoria 24 hour service 13 000 94535.
  • Foxes - Refer to Department of Sustainability and Environment on 9296 4400
  • Snakes - Refer to the Yellow Pages. In case of imminent danger, call 9840 9333; we may be able to provide details of local snake catcher services relevant to your location within the municipality.
  • Dead Animals - Council will collect dead animals that are located on Council land. If you need assistance for a dead animal located on your property, please refer to the Yellow Pages.
     
Queensland Fruit Fly

The Queensland Fruit Fly (Bactrocera tryoni) is one of Australia’s worst horticultural pests and has recently been found in Manningham.

Queensland Fruit Flies feed on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and, when left unchecked, cause serious problems for the home gardeners and commercial growers. The female fly lays her larvae (eggs) in fruits and vegetables causing them to rot. A list of common fruits identified as fruit fly hosts can be found on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Here are some steps to take to protect your garden from Queensland Fruit Fly:

  • Monitor your garden for Queensland Fruit Fly activity
  • Clean up old fruit and vegetables from around the base of plants.
  • If you find affected fruit either boil, microwave or freeze the affected fruit before disposing. Do not put untreated produce in the compost or waste bin as this will facilitate spread
  • Let your neighbours know if you have found Queensland Fruit Fly and suggest taking action together

Unfortunately we will need to learn to live with Queensland Fruit Fly, but together we can manage this pest.

Further advice on managing Queensland Fruit Fly can be found below:

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