The best food for native wildlife is the food they find themselves. Human foods can be harmful and deprive animals of essential nutrients that allow them to stay healthy.
Native animals that are fed can become dependent on artificial food sources and be more vulnerable to attack by predators when they feed. Native animals that are fed can also develop aggressive behaviours that may cause injury.
There is a delicate balance in nature. Feeding wildlife encourages unnaturally high breeding and numbers of animals that the natural environment cannot sustain. Similarly, fed wildlife can lose the ability to find and capture their own food and will reduce the animal's chances of survival if the artificial food source is removed.
Feeding dangerous or venomous native animals such as crocodiles is prohibited under the State Government Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Keep wildlife wild - for their sake and ours, do not feed native animals
What can I do to encourage wildlife into my yard?
Encouraging birds to come to you and forage for their own native food allows you to observe some wonderful natural behaviours.
Encourage native animals into your backyard without feeding them by:
- planting native shrubs and trees to attract birds and butterflies - some good examples are bottlebrush, grevillea, and banksias
- installing a birdbath - you can provide a range of depths, but make sure to change the water regularly to prevent mosquitoes breeding
How can Council help me?
Council runs a Voluntary conservation program which encourages the protection of native plants and animals on private land, to restore and improve wildlife habitat.
Bushcare is another program run by Council, which encourages volunteers to actively participate in working bees to improve local bushland.
For information about feeding native wildlife, read the Department of Environment and Science fact sheet Feeding Wildlife.