Here you can find some great resources about our local wildlife. There is also information about wildlife that may be of concern to you, such as swooping magpies. Remember all native animals, including snakes, are protected from harm under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Illawarra wildlife brochures
Our Environment team has developed a fantastic range of brochures about local wildlife. If you would like a free printed copy, please email our Environment team or call us on 4221 6111. Up to 30 copies can be provided for schools and community groups.
- Butterflies of the Illawarra
- Frogs of the Illawarra
- Rockpool Creatures of the Illawarra
- Illawarra Birds - a photo guide
- Fungi of the Illawarra
- Birds of Lake Illawarra
Have you seen large bats flying at dusk? They are Grey-headed Flying-foxes. Grey-headed Flying-foxes play an important role in the health of our forests by spreading pollen and seeds. The number of flying-foxes has declined dramatically since European settlement. In NSW, Grey-headed Flying-foxes are listed as a threatened species, giving them special protections.
You can find out more about the secret life of one of our best forest regenerators here.
The number of flying-foxes has declined dramatically since European settlement. In NSW, Grey-headed Flying-foxes are listed as a threatened species, giving them special protections.
Blackbutt Forest Reserve was the permanent home to a number of Grey-headed Flying-foxes for over a decade. Council has been monitoring these animals regularly as part of the National Flying Fox colony censes. Flying-fox camps are dynamic, and animals actively move between camps up and down the east coast.
The Flying-foxes are not camped in Blackbutt Forest currently. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as joining other camps closer to seasonal food sources. Our Environment Team are gathering further information to help us understand why these animals may have left Blackbutt. If you have any information that may help us understand the movement of our Grey-headed Flying-fox camp, please contact Council’s Environment Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 4221 6111.
Flying-foxes give birth in spring. Sometimes young pups fall to the ground. If you see an injured or distressed flying-fox, do not attempt to handle it. If you are bitten or scratched you may be vulnerable to an infectious disease. Contact a wildlife rescue group such as Wildlife Rescue South Coast or WIRES if you see flying-foxes in need of assistance.
During the bird breeding season (generally between August and October) magpies may swoop to chase away people and pets. Butcherbirds, Currawongs, Kookaburras, Magpie-larks and Plovers are other native birds that can also swoop. They do this as part of protecting their nests. For tips on protecting yourself from swooping birds, please see the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage or download this handy tip sheet.
If you feel a magpie nesting on your property is a serious menace, please contact the Wollongong National Parks and Wildlife Service on 4224 4188. If you encounter an aggressive magpie on Council land that is considered to be a serious menace, please contact us on 4221 6111. Magpies and all native birds are protected throughout NSW. It is against the law to kill the birds, collect their eggs, or harm their young.
Warm weather can bring out snakes in search of food, water and warmth. All native snakes in NSW are protected and it is against the law to kill or harm them.
We do not provide a snake removal service. Wildlife Rescue South Coast suggests if you see a snake, leave it alone and walk away. If you are bitten by a snake, apply first aid immediately and call 000 for ambulance assistance.
If you see a snake that is injured, you can contact a wildlife rescue group such as Wildlife Rescue South Coast. If you are concerned about a snake in your home/garden/school, you may wish to contact a licensed local herpetologist to catch and relocate a snake for a fee. Never try to capture or kill a snake yourself, as most bites occur while attempting to do this.
Common (Indian) Myna birds
Common myna birds (also called Indian Myna birds) were introduced to Australia from Asia to control caterpillars and other insects. They are widespread across eastern Australia. They are often viewed as a social nuisance, as they can nest in roofs of houses and buildings, fowl outdoor eating areas and have noisy communal roosts.
You can discourage Common Mynas from your house and garden by:
• Ensuring holes in roofs and eaves are blocked off to prevent nesting opportunities.
• Ensuring pet food and food scraps are secure and not accessible for the birds to feed on.
• Avoiding planting exotic palms and other non-native trees that Common Mynas prefer for roosting.
• Reducing the amount of yard space dedicated to lawn, where Common Mynas like to feed. Planting areas with native plants local to Shellharbour will help encourage native birds and help prevent Common Mynas becoming dominant in the area.
There is not a common myna bird trapping program in Shellharbour. If you wish to make or purchase a trap (some Men’s Shed’s produce traps), ensure you are familiar with PestSmart’s guidelines for the trapping of pest birds.
Contacting a private pest controller is the recommended option if you need to organise the removal of Indian Myna birds from your roof.