Learn all about Manningham’s unique local wildlife and environment with TV Zoologist Chris Humfrey from Wild Action, ‘The Zoo That Comes to You’. In this Litter Impacts series, Chris will present 15 short videos that will introduce you to a range of native animals which call Manningham home and how we can protect their home by reducing our litter and appropriately disposing of our waste.

Follow the journey of discarded litter from our homes and parks, through our rivers and creeks, all the way out to Port Phillip Bay. Let’s be litter champions in Manningham!

Video 1: Introduction to litter impacts on local wildlife

Manningham is home to an array of incredible and unique native animals. Our litter and waste has a big impact on our wildlife; as it flows into waterways and out into the bay, it can drastically change the water quality or even be mistaken for food.

Video 2: Grey Headed Flying Fox

Grey Headed Flying Foxes are the largest bat in Australia, but they’re also a vulnerable species here in our parks and backyards in Manningham. They spread seeds from our trees across Melbourne making sure new trees keep growing. Unfortunately they get caught in our fruit nets, so make sure that once your fruit has finished on your trees you take down your nets to ensure they don’t get tangled.

Video 3: Earthworms

Earthworms are terrific for our backyards and our environment. They move through out soil helping to aerate it and at the same time eat the organic matter turning it into fertilizer for our gardens. Make sure you don’t put harmful chemicals in our soil as it can kill the worms and stop them from keeping our soil healthy.

Video 4: Copperhead Snake

Copperhead Snakes can be found basking in the sun in Manningham. They’re highly venomous and should never be touched or picked up, it’s also illegal to kill or harm snakes. They’re very important for our environment, as they eat mice and rats. Unfortunately they cannot move backwards, so if they get trapped in a discarded aluminium can or PVC pipe they can get stuck there and die.

Video 5: Wood Duck

Wood Ducks love our parks and farmland here in Manningham. They eat grass and poo out the seeds to keep the grass growing. Sometimes they mistake cigarette butts for food and the butts can swell in their tummies making the ducks very ill. It’s important that we don’t feed ducks bread as they need to find native food for themselves.

Video 6: Eastern Long Necked Turtle

The Eastern Long Necked Turtle is common in our creeks and rivers in Manningham. They eat snails, dead fish and yabbies, keeping our rivers and creeks clean. Litter is a huge threat to turtles as it can get caught around their limbs and necks, choking them. Fishing line and illegal opera house nets can also kill our turtles, platypus and rakali (water rats) when they get caught in the nets and can’t escape.

Video 7: Buff Breasted Rail

This Buff Breasted Rail is a secretive bird in Manningham, but keep your eyes peeled at Ruffey Lake Park, you might just see them walking around through the reeds. They’re omnivorous, which means that they eat plants and other animals, sometimes they also mistake our litter for food as well. Make sure you pick up litter that you find on the ground, report overflowing bins and litter dumped in our parks, you might just save our local wildlife. 

Video 8: Cattle Egret

Cattle Egrets are known as a cosmopolitan bird, as they’re found all around the world. They love flooded agricultural land and wetlands in Manningham; it’s the perfect place for them to find their food. They’re also directly affected by stormwater pollution and litter, like polystyrene cups that can remain in our environment for up to 600 years. Unfortunately  they see polystyrene or cigarette butts as potential food.

Video 9: Banjo Frog

It might sound like you have a bluegrass band in your backyard at night, but that’s the call of the Banjo Frog. They burrow into our soil with their digging feet and eat all the bugs. Their skin is susceptible to pollution, as that’s how they breathe and drink water. Instead of putting your chemicals down the drain, make sure you dispose of your oils, detergents, paints and other chemicals at a chemical drop off point.

Video 10: Brown Tree Frog

Brown Tree Frogs love hanging out in Manningham. They eat bugs, like pesky mosquitos and flies in our gardens. If you have frogs croaking in your garden, it means you have a healthy place for them to live. Frogs absorb moisture and breathe through their skins, so they’re highly susceptible to pollution in the water. Be careful with what goes down your drains and we can protect our important little frogs.

Video 11: Fresh Water Crayfish

The Yabbies, or Fresh Water Crayfish, love our waterways in Manningham. They grab onto their food with their big claws and propel themselves through the water with their big finned tail. They clean up all of the organic matter in our rivers, creeks and wetlands and keep our waterways healthy. Yabbies are very sensitive to pollution in our rivers and creeks, so be careful with what you wash down the sink and into the stormwater drain. You can dispose your harmful chemicals at a Detox Your Home drop off.

Video 12: Short Finned Eel

The Short Finned Eel is common in our waterways here in Manningham. They’re long, slippery fish that live in our creeks and rivers and they hunt yabbies, insects, worms and fish. When they’re ready to breed, they swim all the way down the Yarra River, out of Port Phillip Bay and breed in the Pacific Ocean! The babies then make their way back to Melbourne and live in our rivers again. It’s up to us to keep our rivers and creeks free of litter to make sure our Eels survive.

Video 13: Little Penguin

Little Penguins are the smallest penguin in the world and they’re found in Port Phillip Bay here in Melbourne. They live on our beaches and eat the fish around our bay. Unfortunately when they lay their eggs on our beaches, they can be easily caught by foxes and cats, so make sure you keep your cat in at night. They also fall victim to plastic waste in our waterways, it can get caught around their necks and choke them, or they could mistake the plastic for food. Please be responsible and dispose of your waste properly.

Video 14: Banjo Ray

Foraging at the bottom of our beautiful Port Phillip Bay is the Banjo Ray. As our waste flows down the Yarra River and into Port Phillip Bay, it comes into the home of our ocean wildlife. Banjo Rays can be harmed by eating the litter that arrives in the bay, so make sure you put your litter into the correct bin and report any litter dumped around Manningham.

Video 15: Pot Bellied Sea Horse

Pot Bellied Sea Horses live in Port Phillip Bay, right at the end of the Yarra River. The Sea Horses eat crustaceans in the bay but they can mistake microplastics for food as well. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic which look like food to our aquatic life they eat it and it often stays in their stomachs and often stays there. Unfortunately this means that when we eat some fish we could be eating microplastics too!  Make sure you dispose of your plastic waste into the correct bin, and put your soft plastics either into the garbage bin or take your soft plastics to the nearest RedCycle collection point.