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You can attract wildlife to your garden by planting a range of native plants that provide both habitat and food.

Providing water and nesting boxes can also help attract wildlife.

There is nothing we can feed wildlife that can adequately replace their own natural diet. Whilst providing certain kinds of foods can cause various problems, the activity itself causes a myriad of ecological problems. Consider the following:

  • Rodents often infest areas where wildlife is being fed, due to left over food Feeding areas make wildlife an easy target for predators i.e. foxes, dogs and cats
  • Wildlife can become aggressive towards people when they become dependant on food and expect to be fed
  • Creating feeding areas often leads to excessive wildlife numbers in places too small to accommodate them
  • Providing food for wildlife can lead to poisoning or transmission of diseases through contaminated food
  • Feeding wildlife encourages introduced animals to the area and in turn they compete with native wildlife for habitat

When wild animals are dependent on being fed they neglect to teach their young how to forage for food and this dependence is then passed on through following generations. If this food source then ceases, the wildlife suffer as a result.

When wildlife are dependent on being fed and lose their natural foraging skills, they need to rely on a fluctuating food supply from humans, sometimes going days without food. This is detrimental to their health.

When wildlife do not contribute to the food chain by following their natural diet, it can lead to environmental problems such as those associated with a decrease of insect consumption, pest plant invasion, loss of indigenous plants.

Caring for wildlife in summer

Placing water in your backyard during times of excessive heat can be a lifesaver for wildlife. But remember to place it out of reach of other pets to ensure the wildlife have safe access. 

More information on caring for wildlife and how to provide alternative habitat and shelter is available on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website.


Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to handle or interfere with possums except when they are in your roof, or other buildings. In addition to this relocating possums any further than 50 metres from where they live is both illegal and inhumane.

The Wildlife Act 1975 outlines a whole range of requirements in relation to possums, and breaching any of these regulations carries a penalty of up to $5000.

There is a range of humane and successful ways of dealing with possums in a residential environment. To avoid possums making use of the roof space for nesting, it was important to regularly check for entrance points, including making sure there are no loose tiles or boards. Cutting back overhanging branches above your house will also limit a possum’s ability to reach your house.

If possums do make their way into your home, wait until late in the evening when they are likely to be outside and block all entrances back into the house. The following day you should make sure that the possums are not trapped inside the roof.

If there is a possum trapped in your roof contact the Department of Environment and Primary Industries on 136 186, who can put you through to a local wildlife officer for assistance.

For more information on the Wildlife Act 1975 or dealing with possums on your property contact the Department of Environment and Primary Industries on 136 186 or visit the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website

Found a sick or injured native animal?

Possum See some tips on what to do...

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Wildlife rehabilitation organisations Echidna

Independent wildlife rehabilitation groups offering advice and 24 hour hotlines.

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