Wildlife in Hume

Native animals are an integral component of Hume’s natural heritage and are important to the healthy function of ecosystems. Sightings of some species like wombats, dunnarts, kingfishers and parrots are generally met with excitement, but the presence of other native animals, such as possums or Magpies, can sometimes be met with fear or aversion. These animals have learnt to thrive with increasing urbanisation and, as a result, are often seen as intruding or conflicting with our lives and a danger to us or our property.

Despite the negative interactions that can occur between wildlife and community members, wildlife still have a right to coexist with humankind regardless of whether or not they have a benefit to us. As such, Council advises residents to exercise tolerance to wildlife and to take steps to minimise any conflict where possible.

Fact Sheets about Living with Wildlife:

  1. Kangaroos
  2. Magpies
  3. Snakes
  4. Possums
  5. Corellas and Cockatoos
  6. Fruit Bats
  7. Please don't feed the birds

When Does Conflict Occur  

Conflict can occur when wildlife establish themselves within street trees and urban parks, or in our paddocks, gardens and, on rare occurrences, our houses. Often when this happens the wildlife is treated as a pest and, in many instances, people want the animal(s) to be removed or destroyed. But there are ways that we can deter or deal with wildlife that are in conflict with us without needing to harm or remove them. Examples include exclusion, repellents, a change in our own practices and habitat modification. Destroying an animal often results in another of the same species inhabiting the empty territory created, leaving the problem unsolved. It is important to remember that native wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and severe penalties apply if native animals are hunted, taken, injured, destroyed, molested or separated from their young.

Strategies for Resolving Conflict with Wildlife

Determine what the problem is and whether there really is a problem. A little research may show that the perceived problem isn’t really a problem, for example hearing a possum on your roof doesn’t mean there are possums in your roof. Figure out why this problem is occurring. Important questions to ask are:

  • What animal is causing the problem?
  • How long has it been occurring?
  • When and where is the damage?

This will help determine whether the damage is significant and whether any action is warranted. Only large problems will warrant drastic action.

If action is warranted you will need to determine the type of action and the timing. It is important to research whether the action will prevent the problem from happening again, (i.e. by relocating an animal are you just creating unoccupied territory for another of the species to move in?). Examples of appropriate actions are:

  • Excluding the animals from the problem area (i.e. netting of fruit trees)
  • Repellents (i.e. on plants or exposed timber to deter Cockatoo, Corellas or kangaroos from damaging them)
  • Modifying your behaviour for a time
  • Habitat modification.

In some cases relocation might be warranted, but this should be well researched and conducted by a registered wildlife handler. Non-lethal actions tend to have a more lasting effect, and it is in fact illegal for anyone without a license to remove or harm native wildlife.

Once action has been taken, research whether the action will permanently solve the problem. In some instances you may need to take follow-up action to prevent the problem from happening again.

Wildlife Handlers in Hume

  • For information on wildlife handlers, please consult the Yellow Pages.

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation

Wildlife Victoria Ph. 1300 094 535 Website: www.wildlifevictoria.org.au

 Creating Growling Grass Frog Habitat

Further reading:

For more information contact Council's Sustainable Environment Department on 9205 2200.

 


Updated : 9:02 AM, 19 July 2017

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