The City of Melville is home to an abundance of wildlife, from mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
For a list of animal species found in Melville, please see the Natural Area Asset Management Plan Appendix Fauna Inventory.
Threats to Wildlife
Our native wildlife is at risk from:
- Predation from feral species
- Competition with feral species
- Human interference causing disease spread
- Loss of habitat
- Injury from dog/cat attacks and road incidents
- Feeding bread and other processed foods, leading to dependence on feeding and often causing a range of diseases and malnutrition.
- Rubbish dumping, including fishing line in our rivers.
Sick or Injured Wildlife
If you find sick or injured wildlife:
- You should safely pick up the animal with both hands (keeping your hands away from any mouth areas or sharp claws).
- Cover the animal with a light towel or cloth it helps to calm the animal and to protect you.
- Transport the animal in an enclosed box with airholes to any of the following:
- Murdoch Veterinary Hospital 24 hour Emergency Centre: 1300 652 494
- Native Arc (Bibra Lake): 9417 7105
- Or call the Wildcare Hotline: 9474 9055 (24 hours).
Common animals to look out for are Bobtail Lizards, native birds such as Black Cockatoos, and Southern Brown Bandicoots.
If the animal is unharmed but wandering across the road, such as a long-necked turtle, you can move the animal to the side of the road in the same direction it is heading. Do not try to take it back to water.
Bird Watching in Melville
Melville has a big variety of bird species. For information on the best bird watching locations, please see our Bird Watching Guide.
If you enjoy recreational activities such as walking, fishing, kitesurfing and paddle boarding at Point Walter spit, you can find out about keeping our birds happy and nesting in our Don't Buzz That Bird Brochure.
Shorebirds at Point Walter
The Point Walter sand spit has become an important habitat for nesting shorebirds in recent years. The City of Melville, in partnership with Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, have implemented a number of conservation management actions, including seasonal closure of the end of the spit, fencing and signage, to protect our shorebirds during the nesting season and improve breeding success. For more information please see our Fairy Tern Fact Sheet.
Please take extra care when visiting our parks and reserves during Magpie nesting season from August - November. Magpies swoop to protect their offspring during this time and can become aggressive if provoked.
Magpies are a protected native bird and it is illegal to harm them or remove nests without permits.
The following tips will help you stay safe and reduce the impact of a swooping magpie.
- Look out for any caution signage placed in our parks and reserves, stay clear of nesting sites and plan alternative routes
- Do not provoke magpies as they swoop to protect their young
- Travel in groups if possible as the birds often target individuals
- Wear sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat or carry an umbrella
- If you are riding a bike, dismount and walk through nesting magpie territory.
For more information visit Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions website
Find out about more about feral bees, native bees and keeping bees below.
Feral Bees Native Bees
The European Honeybee is an introduced pest to our bushlands, and has many negative effects on our environment. The City of Melville engages a contractor each year to remove bee hives from our bushlands.
The impacts of Feral Bees include:
- Competing for natural tree hollows with other hollow-nesting species such as birds and possums
- Competing for nectar with native bees and birds
- Aggressive behaviour that can result in feral bees taking over used hollows and killing chicks/young
- Damage to our delicate wildflowers due to being much larger than native bees and insects that would normally pollinate these flowers.
Australia has nearly 2,000 species of native bee which form a vital part of the ecosystem by pollinating native plants. They are highly adapted to the local environment and are much more effective at pollinating our plants that their European counterpart.
Some of the native bees include the Blue-banded Bee and Leaf cutter Bee.
There is a growing trend of keeping bees in backyard hives, due to its marketing as a sustainable practice. Most native bees do not live in colonies and thus are not suitable for use in cultivation of honey, therefore there is a preference.
If backyard hives are not properly managed, they can swarm and create new hives that often take up residence in our bushlands and add to this pest problem. Please see the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website for more information on becoming a bee keeper and correct management of hives.
If you are interested in having a Backyard Hive, please contact the City of Melville for approval. We recommend not having hives if you live close to a bushland area.
Foxes, Rabbits and Cats European Honey Bee
Fox trapping has been undertaken in various reserves across the City in Autumn and is scheduled again in late August 2020. Foxes are caught at night using traps and the animals are then removed from reserves. If fox dens are located, they are destroyed where possible to prevent other foxes from moving in.
Cat trapping is carried out periodically throughout the year within various the bushland areas. Any stray or unregistered domestic cats found will be taken to a cat management facility at the Cat Haven. Registered domestic cats which are compliant with the Cat Act 2011 will be released nearby and owners contacted. Western Australia’s Cat Act 2011 promotes the welfare and responsible ownership of pet cats. The Act also outlines the requirements for cat owners to microchip, register and control their cats and seeks to reduce the negative impacts of all cats on the environment. For more information about responsible cat ownership in the City of Melville please visit Cat Ownership Rules and Management.
Signs will be posted in locations prior to fox and cat trapping being carried out. Please stay on formalised footpaths whilst the trapping is occurring and ensure that domestic pets and children are kept out of the bushland during this time, especially overnight
The control of rabbits needs to be undertaken at the same time as fox and cat removals to prevent them from preying on native animals when their rabbit food source is reduced.
Rabbits are managed using virus releases, including Rabbit haemorrhagic Disease, Calici virus and strains of Myxomatosis. Rabbit warrens are located and mapped and the warrens are destroyed. Pindone baits are not used in many of the City of Melvilles reserves due to the presence of Quenda or Southern Brown Bandicoots. RHD-K5 virus has been released in Autumn to help with wild rabbit populations and is scheduled again for Spring 2020.
Corellas and Rainbow Lorikeets
Feral bees are opportunistically controlled wherever they occur in bushland areas. As they have a tendency to inhabit artificial nest boxes, the boxes are monitored regularly for signs of infestation. Any boxes that have not been used by native birds or bats for a number of years are removed to reduce the risk of feral bee invasion.
The City of Melville is currently participating in a Regional Corella Control Reference Group being hosted by WALGA. The City currently does not have feeding sites nominated, however the current control being undertaken in the region is expected to reduce Corella numbers across the Perth Metro area. Please report Corella roosting trees or and damage caused by Corellas to Customer Service. Rainbow Lorikeets are not currently controlled by the City however we encourage residents to log roosting site information with Birdlife WA as part of their Rainbow Roost Project. For more information on how to log data please visit Birdlife's website.
Dumped Domestic Waterfowl
Ravens are a native species and are therefore protected under State Wildlife legislation. Parks and Wildlife Service are the governing body concerning all of our native wildlife. The City of Melville does not conduct culls of Ravens in urban areas.
Throughout Australia, unique native wildlife and ecosystems are being put at risk by unintentionally harmful human behaviour. This can be illustrated by the presence of the domestic geese and ducks at Frederick Baldwin Park.
Dumping unwanted domestic animals in habitats such as local lakes compromises the native fauna that depend on these urban ecosystems for habitat and food. Overpopulation is just the tip of the ice berg. Domestic waterfowl can also mate with wild waterfowl, creating hybrids and weakening the gene pool of these unique populations.
Dean Huxley from Native ARC states that “domestic poultry pose serious risks for native waterfowl. Not only do they compete for food and nesting sites thus reducing native waterfowl populations, they can also spread disease and parasites. It is morally and ethically wrong to release a captive born animal into the wild and Native ARC would like to encourage all pet owners to rehome their pets responsibly if they are unable to keep them."
Halina Burmej, President of Western Australian Seabird Rescue commented that most domestic geese and domestic ducks can't fly well or at all and if the natural food or water dries up domestic birds are trapped, unlike the native birds who can move on and seek better habitat. So it can be an animal welfare issue for the dumped domestic birds”.
The City has been liaising with Native ARC and Western Australian Seabird Rescue (WASR) to address this animal welfare issue. Subsequently the domestic geese and ducks will be removed from the site in early to mid July. The birds will be captured unharmed and will be rehomed by Native ARC.
Feeding bread and other processed foods to wildlife can have negative consequences for both the animal and the surrounding environment. We encourage people to not feed wildlife, as it:
- Prevents animals gathering healthy, natural foods
- Provides little nutritional value to animals
- Keeps animals in one locations and dependent on humans for food
- Causes over population and diseases such as botulisim and worms
- Pollutes waterways if feeding near lakes or wetlands
- Can make animals aggressive
- May attract rodents
It is always better to 'look' and observe animals in their natural environmental, rather than feed wildlife. There are a number of other actions that can be taken to attract animals to your gardens.
What Can You Do?
To help us to protect our native wildlife you can:
- Report poachers
- Report suspicious behaviour and/or dumping in waterways to FISHWATCH (1800 815 507 or visit the Fisheries website)
- Don't dump aquarium material in our waterways, parks or reserves- if you no longer want your aquarium plants and animals, sell or donate them
- Take sick or injured animals to a local animal rescue shelter
- Don't remove native plants from the environment
- Volunteer at a rehabilitation centre or environment centre
- Monitor native wildlife and your local areas and report unusual or worrying environmental issues to the City of Melville
- Report Feral animal occurrences to the Environmental Officer
- Keep your dogs under control while out in our parks and reserves (as sometimes the very best dogs find it hard to resist a good chase!)
- Plant native plants in your garden that are food and habitat for our wildlife
- Don’t feed native wildlife
- Put old fishing line into specialised fishing line bins, located at many of our jetties around Melville
- Place your rubbish in the bins provided
Fishing Line Disposal Units
As summer approaches, recreational fishing becomes popular throughout our riverpark. The City of Melville partners with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Native Animal Rescue for the ‘Reel It In’ project. The project provides a number of fishing line disposal units located in key areas around the foreshore, including Blackwall Reach and Mount Henry Jetty. These bins help reduce the impact of discarded fishing line and tackle on dolphins, water birds and other animals, who can become entangled and lead to injury or death, if this litter gets into our waterways. Residents are encouraged to utilise these units throughout the summer period for disposal of fishing line or other fishing materials. Bins are regularly emptied by volunteers from Native Animal Rescue, and the contents analysed to provide information on how much waste has been diverted from water ways.
More information on the project can be found on the River Guardians website.