Please don't feed our native friends
Many people enjoy seeing wildlife close at hand and it may be tempting to encourage wildlife by feeding them. Unfortunately we may be killing these animals with kindness, handouts can upset dietary balance, decrease foraging abilities and even upset natural habitat. While some of our native wildlife such as brushtail possums have adapted to urban conditions, most remain very dependent on native vegetation for habitat.
Maintaining dead or hollowed trees
Tree hollows are an essential resource, only occuring in mature trees. Some wildlife that need tree hollows for habitat include bats, cockatoos, parrots, gliders, possums, kookaburras and owls. Understorey and ground cover plants also provide food and shelter. Look out for old or dead trees on your property or road reserves. These trees should be retained where it is safe to do so as they may continue to provide habitat. Where there are no natural hollows, nest boxes may be substituted.
Wildlife can be a nuisance, such as Kookaburras having a dispute with their reflection in your window, to possums dancing in your roof, or dive bombing magpies. Destroying native animals rarely solves a problem, it is also prohibited so look for long term solutions by talking to the experts.
While the cat's away...
Some pets are incompatible with wildlife. Cats are wonderful companions, but they are also natural born hunters. Cats will kill birds, reptiles and small mammals. For the protection of the native wildlife around your home, lock up or contain your pets at night. Consider attaching a bell to your cat’s collar to warn wildlife that a threat is nearby. Native animals use bushland remnants in urban and rural areas for habitat. Consider retaining or creating corridors of native vegetation so that wildlife can migrate safely and increase their territory. Colac Otway Shire supports the Land for Wildlife Program (DPI) and Trust for Nature Conservation Covenants (TFN). See Native Vegetation Enhancement for more information on these programs.
For further information on these programs or on native animals call Simon Howland of Colac Otway Shires Environment Department on 03 5232 9512 or send an email
Other useful information can be found on the following websites: The Department of Primary Industries Phone: 136 186 Parks Victoria Phone: 131 963