Mansfield Shire is home to many species of native and endemic wildlife.
What is native wildlife?
‘Native wildlife’ or ‘fauna’ are animals that have thrived naturally in Victoria prior to European arrival. The Mansfield Shire is home to wildlife that are native and some are even endemic to the Mansfield Shire. Species such as the Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar) living amongst the rocks of Mt Battery and the Barred Galaxias (Galaxias fuscus), a fish found in the headwaters of our Shire’s rivers are genetically unique to our region and currently listed as threatened species.
Other native animals may include wombats, echidnas, red-tail black cockatoos, pygmy possums, the eastern grey kangaroo and so many more. Due to competition with pest animals, urban development and climate change, some of our native animals are in rapid decline.
Why is native wildlife important?
- Integral to healthy ecosystems
- Increased biodiversity
- Maintain and manage biodiversity
- Unique and iconic to Australia
For more information on the threatened native fauna species in the Mansfield Shire, visit the Statewide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams (SWIFFT) website.
Heat stressed wildlife
During summer, wildlife may suffer from heat stress due to extreme temperatures. We can help animals suffering from heat stress by:
Offering shade. Plant native species and shade trees.
Leave bowls of water around the garden or use the hose to spray mist into trees and shrubs to create cooler niches that they can use to escape the heat.
If it is a larger animal such as a kangaroo, koala or wombat, it is not recommended that you touch or handle it for your own safety. Under no circumstances should you touch or handle a flying-fox as they can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
For more information, read the Wildlife and Heat Stress Fact Sheet.
The spring months in the Mansfield Shire are the beginning of the breeding season for many native birds. Swooping is a protective behavioural adaptation consistent with species such as Magpies and Plovers during this time. Both are native, protected species and it’s important we don’t misunderstand this behaviour, as the birds are simply protecting their young.
Some tips in dealing with swooping birds in your area:
- Do not harass the birds; this will give them added reason to see humans as a threat and may increase swooping behaviour.
- Magpies can live for up to 20 years in the same area. So spend some time allowing your local magpies to get used to you as a non-threat outside of their breeding season
- Magpies defend their nests for 6-8 weeks – from when their chicks hatch, to when they fledge. Make a note on your calendar if you notice a swooping bird.
- We do not capture or remove swooping birds, however, we encourage reporting known locations where birds are swooping on both public and private land through the Victorian Swooping Bird Map or by phoning the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.
- Learn your local swooping hotspots here;
- If you know of a swooping bird, avoid the area if possible.
- Move quickly (but don’t run or dismount from bikes) through the area if you must pass.
- Cover your head, carry a stick or umbrella.
- Fix a pair of ‘eyes’ to the back of hats and helmets.
- Do not destroy nests. This may prompt birds to rebuild their nests, prolonging the swooping behaviour.
- Don’t feed swooping birds. This may encourage swooping behaviour.
- Travel with others, if possible.
- Erect signage to notify others of swooping magpies, or ask us to do so.
- It is illegal to intentionally harm, shoot, trap or kill native wildlife under the Wildlife Act 1975.
For more information about living with wildlife, visit Depaartment of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.
If you see a snake, remain calm and try to safely move away from the snake. Most snakes in Victoria are venomous and bites occur when people try to catch or kill them.
Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to capture, kill or harm them.
Snakes are attracted to shelter, such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, or building materials. Ensure you clean up around your property and cut lawns regularly to prevent favourable snake habitats around your house.
Our Shire has qualified commercial snake catchers who will safely remove and relocate snakes from your property:
The Reptile Wrangler
Phone: 0459 55 55 34
Phone: 0477 427 246
Native fauna protection
What you can do for our native wildlife:
Land for Wildlife
Land for Wildlife is a voluntary wildlife conservation program. If you wish to create or protect wildlife habitats on your property, then the Land for Wildlife scheme can offer you advice and assistance no matter whether you manage a farm, a bush block, a council park or school ground. For more information, visit t the Regional Land for Wildlife Coordinator website.
Trust for Nature Covenant
There is no greater gesture an individual can make to the conservation of Victoria’s biodiversity than placing a Trust for Nature covenant on a property to protect habitat forever.
A conservation covenant is a voluntary agreement between Trust for Nature and the landowners. It is placed on the title of the land to ensure that the natural bushland is permanently protected.
Mansfield Shire Council offers a rate rebate to landowners who register a Trust for Nature conservation covenant on their property.
The rebate acknowledges the long-term commitment of these landowners to conserving the biodiversity on their land. Landowners will receive a rebate of up to $25 per hectare of land placed under covenant. The total rebate will depend on the rated value of the covenanted area, with a minimum rebate of $50 and a maximum rebate of $500.
For further information on conservation covenants, visit the Trust for Nature website.
Native Wildlife Rescue Services
If you come across any sick or injured Wildlife call one of the following services for advice:
Mansfield Wildlife Shelter
PO Box 616, Mansfield, Vic 3722
Rescue Hotline: 0418 563166
Phone (Admin): 03 5776 9688
Phone: 03 8400 7300