Skip to Content
City of Greater Dandenong Animal Management

City of Greater Dandenong Animal Management

Native Fauna of Greater Dandenong

The City of Greater Dandenong’s parks and bushland reserves provide valuable habitat for many fauna species including insects, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Please do not feed wildlife.

For further information on wildlife contact Council.

Birds

A number of rare and endangered species can be found within the municipality. Each year Lathams Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) a migratory bird visits Tirhatuan Park for the summer, before they return to Japan to breed in winter.

The Wedge Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) and Blue Billed Duck (Oxyura australis) are two less commonly seen birds that are found to inhabit or visit the City of Greater Dandenong. The Wedge Tailed Eagle, Australia’s largest raptor or bird of prey with a wing span of 2.3 metres, is often seen soaring on thermal air currents. The Wedge Tailed Eagle keeps a keen eye out for rabbits, hares, lizards, snakes, birds and mammals. They will also eat carrion (dead animals).

The seasonally nomadic Blue Billed Duck, named for the bright blue bill found on males, is almost wholly aquatic and is seldom seen on land. They sit low in the water and dive for food which includes aquatic insects and water plants. 

City of Greater Dandenong staff as well as the Greater Dandenong Environment Group conduct regular bird surveys in bushland areas. You can assist by conducting your own bird survey and recording sightings and emailing to council@cgd.vic.gov.au.

Mammals

Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps), a small tree dwelling marsupial, can be found in Dandenong South where enough large old Red Gum trees are still present to provide habitat. They are less common than their cousins, the Brushtail and Ringtail Possum (Trichosurus vupecula and Pseudocheirus peregrinus), who are readily found in suburban backyards. 

Echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are shy, ground dwelling ant-eating monotremes (mammals that lay eggs). They are well equipped with an armour of spikes, made from modified hairs, to protect them from predators. Once commonly seen in the Greater Dandenong region, echidnas are now only seen in a few of Council’s bushland reserves, including Tirhatuan Park, Dandenong Police Paddocks and Coomoora Reserve. However they are starting to become more common in suburban areas due to re-vegetation projects along creek lines and other corridors.   

Reptiles

During the warmer months you may come across Copperhead Snakes (Austrelaps superbus) warming themselves in the sun. Reserves like Tirhatuan Park, Dandenong Wetlands and Falkiner Reserve are ideal habitat for these reptiles. Snakes may be seen along the Dandenong Creek during the warmest part of the day, cooling themselves or getting a drink. They feed on frogs, mice, birds and other reptiles. Copperheads are a highly venomous snake (ranked number 11 in the world) that can grow to 1 metre in length, but are quite shy and timid.

Please respect native animals and never approach a snake. If you do encounter a snake, stay calm and stand still and let them continue on their way, or back away slowly giving them plenty of room. Remember that snakes are more afraid of you then you are of them. They will only attack when cornered or feeling threatened.

If you are bitten seek urgent medical attention. Apply a restrictive bandage to the affected limb, remain calm and limit movement as this will cause the poison to spread more quickly. 

Amphibians

Greater Dandenong is home to a number of frog species including the Eastern Common Froglet (Crinia signifera), Southern Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi) and the Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerili). For more information visit our frog watch and night stalk webpage.

Unfortunately, due to loss of habitat and predation by pest animals such as foxes and cats, many species that were once found within the municipality are no longer present. The Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) was once commonly found across the municipality; however the last reported sightings were in Alex Wilkie Nature Reserve in Springvale South more than 20 years ago.   

Links and resources