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Pest animals

Council takes measures to protect our indigenous flora and fauna from the harmful effects caused by introduced, non-native animal species. 

We are guided by the Victorian Government in relation to the management and control of pest species.

Foxes and rabbits

Foxes and rabbits are an introduced species in Australia. They spread weeds, out-compete native animals for habitat, and create erosion problems. 

Rabbits in particular consume large amounts of vegetation, stunting plant growth and causing the death of sensitive plant populations. 

Foxes are recognised as one of the major causes of population decline in certain native wildlife. Australian animals have not developed suitable strategies to avoid predation, as they did not evolve with foxes present. 

Our officers use environmentally friendly methods of vermin control such as netting. For further information, contact the Bushland Team on 1300 88 22 33. 

Dogs, cats and horses in bushland reserves

Dogs and cats

Dogs and cats have a huge negative impact on our natural bushland areas.

  • Their presence and scent causes great stress to the local wildlife.
  • Their droppings act as a fertilizer for weeds, which can wipe out large areas of indigenous vegetation. Droppings can also be directly harmful to indigenous plants, as they are naturally adapted to low nutrient soils.
  • Their fur tends to attract seed of exotic plant species, spreading weeds into natural bushland areas and impacting on indigenous vegetation.
  • They have been known to dig up, tread on and eat indigenous plant species, adding to the loss of indigenous orchids and other natural vegetation.
  • They are capable of killing large numbers of wildlife. Cats in particular are opportunist hunters; their prime hunting time is at night. A bell fitted to their collar has proved largely unsuccessful as a warning to wildlife. Cats must be kept indoors or contained from dusk to dawn. 
  • Dogs in public places must be kept on a leash at all times except in designated off-leash areas. Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animals and fines can be issued if the owner does not comply.

Horses

  • Horses have an inefficient digestive system which allows intact seeds to pass through without loss of viability, so horse droppings contain fertile weed seed which germinates and grows rapidly because the manure is an excellent source of nutrients.
  • Horse hooves lead to soil compaction and erosion, which also affects the natural vegetation. Australian plants and soil are not accustomed to hooved animals, as no native Australian animal has hooves. 

Indian myna birds

Under the State Government's Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, Indian myna birds are not a declared pest animal. 

The Victorian Government monitors the spread of Indian myna birds as part of the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, but has not introduced a specific program to control the species.

19/05/2017
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