Wildlife Watch

Residents of North Sydney are the eyes and ears of our bushland reserves...

Ecological consultants Smith & Smith (2010) surveyed the wildlife in all of North Sydney's bushland reserves, and advised:

A total of 190 native terrestrial vertebrate species (spined) have been recorded in North Sydney, including 4 frog species, 20 reptile species, 148 bird species and 18 mammal species.

However, only 114 of these species still occur consistently in the area. Eighteen species are listed as threatened species under NSW and/or Commonwealth legislation, but only three of these, the Powerful Owl, Grey-headed Flying-fox and Eastern Bent-wing Bat, occur regularly. Another 15 species are listed as migratory species under Commonwealth legislation. These are species listed on international migratory species agreements to which Australia is a signatory. A further 15 species are significant at regional level (Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority area), and 61 species are significant at the local level (North Sydney local government area).


Wildlife Hotspot

A wildlife hotspot (an area of special importance for biodiversity) was also identified:

Tunks Park in Cammeray was identified as the most important reserve for birds in North Sydney, and especially for small bushbirds, such as the Superb Fairy-wren, Variegated Fairy-wren, Brown Thornbill, Brown Gerygone, Spotted Pardalote, Eastern Spinebill, Eastern Yellow Robin, Red-browed Finch and Silvereye. Birds of this type have declined dramatically in North Sydney since 1970, while larger birds better adapted to the urban environment have increased. (Smith and Smith 2008)


Help local wildlife survive by becoming a Wildlife Watch volunteer

  • Do you regularly visit North Sydney's bushland reserves?
  • Would you like to learn more about local wildlife?
  • Are you interested in identifying and recording wildlife sightings?

Learn how to identify a variety of birds, bats, reptiles, possums - even butterflies and insects. Observations of wildlife in your backyard, street or local reserve help our Bushcare team better understand and manage the needs of native animals in North Sydney.

The aim of this program is to encourage the reports of wildlife sightings so that Council's database of local fauna can be constantly updated. This information is used in the management of our bushland areas, to assist in environmental planning decisions, the development of wildlife corridors, and for the inclusion in the National Parks and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Atlas. Wildlife Watch also helps raise awareness of wildlife management issues, such as wildlife using weeds as habitat, population fluctuations, migrant and nomadic species that drop in and other important observations.

There are also training opportunities for Wildlife Watch volunteers to help you make accurate records of any sightings, sounds or signs of wildlife.

Call the Bushland Project Officer on 9936 8100 for a Wildlife Watch Kit to be posted to you.

Your free Wildlife Watch Kit contains:

  • Wildlife Watch observation sheets and maps
  • basic wildlife identification sheet
  • instructions for use
  • map of North Sydney Council area
  • updated list of Native Fauna of North Sydney.

Simply record your observations on the sheet provided and once completed return it to the Bushland Project Officer


Nesting Boxes are a great help to Wildlife

Over 20% of Australian native wildlife requires hollows in old trees, for nesting and rearing young. North Sydney has lost many of its old hollow-bearing trees to urban development, storms and removal for public safety reasons. Brushtail and Ringtail possums, owls such as the Powerful, Southern Boobook and Barking, cockatoos, lorikeets and parrots are just some of the native animals that need hollows for raising young.

Nesting boxes provide valuable habitat for native wildlife and provide an alternative to your roof cavity for possums to nest in.

Come buy a nesting box from Customer Service at Council, 200 Miller St, North Sydney.

Price can be found on our fees and charges website (search on the word - box).


Living with Possums

A Living with Possums brochure is available (linked below or from Customer Service) and provides useful and practical information on possums in the urban environment.

  • Brushtail and Ringtail possums have adapted well to the urban environment. They are two of the last remaining native survivors of the 21 species of mammals once present in North Sydney.
  • Possums in your roof and how to stop possums getting into your roof - did you know that removing a possum from your property will only make room for another possum to move in and claim the territory?
  • Possum boxes are easily constructed with cheap materials. Get some design ideas, dimensions and installation instructions from this brochure.


Native Havens

Native Havens program

You can create a native haven in your North Sydney garden and help create more habitat and food sources for native wildlife by planting native species and perhaps even installing a nesting box. Join now for a site visit and local native plant species are provided FREE.


More Information

Lots of useful websites help correctly identify the look, sound and signs of Sydney's wildlife, try the websites in the Related Links below.

Related Links

Related Documents