Plants and Animals

Urban Wildlife

All native mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in NSW are protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. You may encounter native wildlife in your backyard, particularly if you live near bushland. It is against the law to harm native animals, take them from the wild or to keep them as a pet.

To keep a native animal as a pet, you may be able to obtain a licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) by contacting them on 131 555 or at www.environment.nsw.gov.au.

Injured Wildlife or Wildlife Relocation

Volunteers from wildlife organisations are specially trained to look after various native animals including birds and reptiles. They will look after the animal until it is ready to be returned to the wild. If you need to have a native animal relocated or find an injured or orphaned native animal, immediately contact WIRES NSW or Sydney Wildlife registered wildlife rescue organisations as follows:

  • WIRES NSW1300 094 737
  • Sydney Wildlife9413 4300

You can also download WIRES free Rescue App to most smart phones and tablets to get instant mobile access to wildlife advice and rescue assistance from WIRES Rescue Team 7 days a week. The WIRES Rescue App provides a quick and easy way to find out how you can help sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. You can report a rescue directly from the app and access some of the most important information you need to know if you find native animals in distress.

In the meantime, if you have an injured or orphaned animal:

  • handle the animal as little as possible
  • place it in a towel or blanket and
  • place it in a box in a warm, quiet room and do not give it food
Can I Feed Native Wildlife?

NPWS advises that native wildlife should not be fed as it is equivalent to feeding them junk food. Feeding encourages them to depend on processed seeds, bread and other foods that are not part of their natural diet. This can make them very sick and animals that expect to be fed by people can become aggressive, harassing people for food when they are hungry. Once the animals you're feeding know that you are a reliable source of food, they may converge on your home, potentially disrupting their migratory patterns and displacing other species. If wildlife flock to be near you, their newfound population density may encourage the spread of communicable diseases between them and they may also lose their ability to forage for natural foods.

Think twice before you feed wild animals - a moment's pleasure for you may lead to the animal you feed becoming addicted to junk food.

Last updated on 02 Feb 2015