Single magpie looking over its shoulder

1. Important habitat and species

We will continue to highlight the importance of our woodland habitat such as the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park for the survival of endangered species such as barking owls, squirrel gliders and phascogales.

We will also continue to work with other government agencies, Landcare Victoria and Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park to keep these species going.

We are blessed to have such beautiful creatures living in our own backyard.

For more information, contact our Environment & Sustainability team on 03 5728 8000.


Woodland Fauna Habitat – How you can help brochure(PDF, 7MB)

2. Heat stressed wildlife

If you come across heat stressed or injured wildlife, there are a number of things you can do.

During summer, wildlife may suffer from heat stress due to extreme weather. You can help animals suffering from heat stress by offering shade and water. 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'.

If the animal does not improve shortly after you’ve provided water or shade, phone your local registered wildlife shelter or Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300 or 0417 380 687. 

3. Sick or injured wildlife

If you find sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, timely help may be critical. Do not approach the animal, but immediately call your local registered wildlife shelter or Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300 or 0417 380 687.

Wildlife may only be cared for by authorised wildlife shelters or foster carers. Wildlife require specialist care, treatment and rehabilitation to recover sufficiently to be returned to the wild. Without this specialist care, wildlife may not recover or may lose their natural behaviours.

It is illegal in Victoria to keep sick, injured or orphaned wildlife as a pet. Taking wildlife from the wild without authorisation is an offence which carries a fine of up to $7773 and/or six months imprisonment.

4. Snakes and snake catchers

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 the house and cut lawns regularly during the springtime.

Our Rangers will not respond to calls to remove snakes, however, the following qualified snake catchers will safely remove and relocate them from your property.

  • Darren Campbell 02 6020 8002, 0438 623 497 (Yackandandah)
  • Tristian Hamilton 0431 530 057 (after 3pm, Wodonga)
  • Chris Porter 0432 175 513 (Wodonga)
  • Susan Hiatt 03 5728 3353, 0421 991 797 (Beechworth)
  • Noel Crossman, Pest Control 0412576 541 (Wodonga)

Note: These providers are independent commercial operators and as such are unaffiliated from the Council. Council will not cover any charges incurred; these are to be paid by you.

5. Swooping birds

The beginning of Spring often means the beginning of breeding season for our native birds, mainly Magpies and plovers, which subsequently means swooping. Both are native protected species so it’s important we don’t misunderstand this behaviour, as the birds are just protecting their young.  

See the below tips and information to help you get through the season:

  • 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. So take 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 by visiting https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/managing-wildlife/swooping-birds or by contacting us.
  • If you know of a swooping bird, avoid the area if possible.
  • Move quickly (but don’t run and 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 harass wildlife; this will give them added reason to see humans as a threat and may increase swooping behaviour.
  • 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 www.wildlife.vic.gov.au