Wildlife

The Government department that handles all wildlife issues in Victoria is the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Wildlife Act 1975

All native wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. The purpose of the Wildlife Act 1975 is to:

  • protect and conserve wildlife
  • prevent wildlife from becoming extinct
  • regulate who is able to handle or remove wildlife (including healthy, sick, injured or dead wildlife)
  • regulate wildlife on private and public land.

Council officers

Greater Shepparton City Council officers are not authorised under the Wildlife Act 1975 to remove wildlife. Council Officers are able to:

  • seek veterinary attention for sick or injured wildlife if a DELWP Wildlife Carer is not available
  • attend to and remove deceased wildlife on Council roads
  • provide advice on who to contact regarding wildlife issues.

Contacts

To contact an authorised DELWP Officer, Wildlife Shelter or Foster carer, contact:

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
136 186
DELWP can provide the details of a local wildlife rehabilitator or DELWP staff member who can provide advice or help.

Australian Animal Rescue
0430 883 083

Fly By Night Bat Clinic
0409 530 541
For sick, injured or orphaned flying foxes and microbats.

Help for Wildlife
0477 555 611

RSPCA
03 9224 2222

Wildlife Victoria Emergency Response Service
13 000 94535

Wildlife Victoria
13 000 94535

Wildlife Rescue and Protection (WRAP)
0458 972 727

Wildlife Rescue and Information Network (WRIN)
0419 356433

Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service (WRES)
0427 301 401


For more information, please visit the DELWP website.

Possession or collection of wildlife

Under the Wildlife Act 1975, it is an offence for a person to possess wildlife unless in accordance with relevant permits and exemptions.

Sick, injured or abandoned wildlife

Members of the public are able to temporarily possess sick, injured or abandoned wildlife for the purpose of transporting it to a registered veterinary practitioner or licenced wildlife carer.

If you find injured or sick wildlife, immediately call DELWP on 136 186, or one of the wildlife rehabilitation organisations who are authorised under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 (see above).

Do not handle wildlife unless advised to do so. Treat wildlife with caution, especially when they are distressed or injured, as they can be dangerous. Wherever possible, wait for an experienced/qualified person to arrive. Wildlife can bite, scratch, kick and carry diseases.

If wildlife is on Council owned or managed land, officers will :

  • consider the location of the injured animal and arrange appropriate traffic management
  • assist to arrange for an officer authorised under the Wildlife Act 1975 (a wildlife officer, wildlife shelter operator or vet) to attend to the injured animal by either transporting the injured animal as required or arranging for an officer to attend on site.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Long Billed Corellas and Galahs

Some native birds can cause extensive damage to buildings, lawns and infrastructure. If you have native birds causing damage, contact DELWP.

Swooping birds

Please refer to the Swooping Birds page for advice.

Trapping and poisoning birds

It is an offence under the Wildlife Act 1975 to trap or poison any Protected Wildlife.

It is also an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 to lay baits or administer any substance which contains a poison or may have a harmful effect on an animal, unless otherwise specified.

Please contact DELWP for advice.

Killing, injuring or harassing wildlife

All wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.

If you believe a person is killing or harassing wildlife, please contact DELWP or the RSPCA.

Dead wildlife

If you find a dead animal lying beside the road and you can safely do so, please pull over in a safe spot on the side of the road. Turn off your vehicle and contact DELWP on 136 186 or Wildlife Victoria on 13 000 94535 for further advice. Many of our native animals are marsupials which means they carry babies in their pouches, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats and possums. Even if the adult animal has been killed, there is still a good chance that her pouch young may have survived, can be rescued, rehabilitated and released back to the wild. Remember, it is best not to touch the animal yourself unless you are trained. A wildlife carer may attend to check the animal's pouch for young.

Removing dead wildlife

It is illegal for a member of the public to remove dead animals unless authorised. Wildlife will die of natural causes, without human interference, and when possible, it is best left to decompose where it is. Dead bodies are not to be collected and relocated to other areas except for a transfer station or landfill to facilitate disease control.

Suspicious wildlife deaths

Some wildlife deaths may require investigation. DELWP are investigators for suspicious wildlife deaths. Any suspicious deaths should be reported to DELWP on 136 186.

Managing kangaroos and deer in urban areas

Kangaroos and deer showing up in suburban areas can become a risk to public safety. Kangaroos and deer are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.

If you find wildlife in urban areas, please call DELWP on 136 186 or one of the wildlife rehabilitation organisations who are authorised under section 28A of the Wildlife Act 1975 (see above).

Possums in traps

Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. It is illegal to harass or interfere with possums.

DELWP provides advice to homeowners and land managers regarding when it is appropriate to trap and release possums.

Please contact DELWP for advice.

Snakes in populated areas

Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to capture, kill or harm them.

DELWP provides advice on avoidance as well as ways to modify the habitat around buildings to make it less attractive for snakes and their prey.

DELWP authorises Controllers for the purposes of snake removal in populated areas.

Please contact DELWP for advice.

Remember: Bites are more likely to occur when people try to kill or capture snakes.

Pest animals

Agriculture Victoria is the lead agency for management of exotic pest animals on public and private land in Victoria. These animals are typically pest animals not established in the wild in Victoria and are often referred to as 'new and emerging' pest species.

For more information, please visit Agriculture Victoria's A to Z of Pest Animals.

Council will accept any injured contained pest animal to ensure the animal is humanely euthanased if required. If you find an injured pest animal, please contact Council 03 5832 9700.