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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 biosecurity guidelines in relation to the management and control of pest species.

Foxes and Rabbits are introduced species to Australia, and they:

  • threaten the survival of native fauna and flora
  • out-compete native animals for habitat
  • spread weeds
  • create erosion problems
  • can carry disease and parasites that can affect domestic animals.

Fox Management

In order to help fox management, you can:

  • ensure chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, and pet Rabbits are in an enclosed, fox-proof secure structure
  • ensure fences are solid as foxes can access property by digging under, jumping over or climbing various types of fences.
  • deter digging under fences by burying chicken wire to a depth of 450mm, lay and secure to the ground chicken wire 200mm from fence base
  • clean up food scraps, pet food left outside, and excess fruit dropped by fruit trees
  • always cover your compost heap or use a compost bin
  • never make foxes pets by feeding them
  • remove blackberry and other weed thickets, which provide cover for Foxes
  • block access to spaces under your house to reduce cover
  • avoid feeding wildlife - this can attract Foxes
  • if you see a fox in the area, let your neighbours know so they can act
  • join FoxScan to help build information about Foxes in the region 

Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, landowners are legally required and have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals from their land.

If a den is located on private property a licensed pest controller will be able to assist you.  A quick web search or check of telephone directories will provide a range of service providers. Fox-management methods must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) and associated regulations and only by a licensed pest controller.

If you believe you have found a Fox den on Council Land, please contact Council on 1300 88 22 33 and provide the exact location so that Council is able to find and treat the den.

Rabbit Management

Rabbits are difficult to manage owing to their movement and behaviour characteristics. Best practice management should be used as a consistent approach to controlling Rabbits.

You can help by:

  • making sure your property less attractive to rabbits by removing all available Rabbit-harbour, including low vegetation, access to under your house and shed
  • coordinating with neighbours to reduce numbers
  • joining RabbitScan to help build information about Rabbits in the region. 

Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, landowners are legally required and have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals from their land.

Rabbit-management methods must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) and associated regulations and only by a licensed pest controller.

To learn more about priority pest animals, please consult the Victorian Government Website:

More information 

Find out more about foxes by reading or downloading our fox fact sheet.

Fox fact sheet  (pdf, 310KB)

Fox fact sheet  (docx, 186KB)

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. 

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.

Some councils have control programs, however due to recent research done by the RSPCA, Maroondah City Council does not consider this an effective way of reducing the impact of the species. 

Read the research article on RSPCA’s view on the management of myna birds.

Difference between Indian Myna and Noisy Miners

It is important to distinguish the Indian Myna from the protected native Noisy Miner.

The Common or Indian Myna can be identified by its yellow beak and eye patch, and brown body.

The Noisy Miner is identified by its mostly grey body and black crown and cheeks. The bill is yellow, as are the legs.

Why are Indian Myna’s a problem?

Indian Myna’s are aggressive and compete with native animals for space. They force native birds and small mammals out of their nests and tree hollows and displace native bird’s eggs and chicks out of their nests.

Indian Myna’s build large messy nests in roofs from sticks and any available rubbish they find, which can create fire risks in buildings. The accumulated droppings and mites from nests in house roofs are a breeding ground for disease and inhaled mites can cause asthma and hay fever. They also spread rubbish when they forage in open rubbish bins, causing harm to the environment.

What you can do deter Indian Myna’s in your garden

An effective way to control Indian Myna’s is to reduce attractions that encourage them to visit an area by:

  • clearing away food scraps after eating outdoors, remove uneaten pet food, cover bins, etc
  • planting more native shrubs in your garden to reduce the open areas that Indian Myna’s prefer
  • not feeding wildlife
  • keeping stock feed in sealed containers
  • checking and blocking holes or entry points in your roof (make sure you do not accidentally imprison a possum, bat or other native inhabitant).
  • installing bird netting to block access to area roosting or nesting areas.

What is MynaScan?

MynaScan is a resource developed to help community members, pest controllers and biosecurity groups to map sightings and the damage that Myna birds cause, and coordinate control efforts with local community groups. MynaScan is free, easy to use, and can help develop a detailed map of Myna bird activity in your local area. You can also upload images for accurate record keeping.

Further information 

Find out more about foxes by reading or downloading our fox fact sheet.

Fox fact sheet  (pdf, 310KB)

Fox fact sheet  (docx, 186KB)

If you require further information, please call us on 1300 88 22 33 or visit any of Council's service centres and our officers will be happy to help. 

 

19/05/2017
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