PETS and WILDLIFE
Our Pets and their surrounds
Both domestic cats and dogs can have a terrible impact on our local native wildlife, and it is important that we try to minimise this as much as possible.
In Narraweena, Cromer and surrounding suburbs, many people live near bushland areas and treasure the native wildlife that lives nearby. Domestic pets can occur in high numbers in these urban areas, where native animals are fewer. Therefore even though an individual pet may only kill a small number of natives, it has a bigger effect on the already reduced population.
Responsible pet ownership will allow you to enjoy the presence of native birds and mammals in your surroundings as well as your pet.
Here are a few simple tips to help protect local native wildlife.
Keep your cat confined to your property and indoors - especially overnight during the dusk and dawn times. Even when you have met all your pet cats’ feeding and shelter needs, they still have the instinct to chase and hunt. During the day cats can hunt small birds or lizards, and at night they may attack small mammals such as possums, Feathertail gliders, bandicoots and small bats.
Put two bells on your cat’s collar - some cats may learn to move and keep one bell quiet, so a second bell will be much more effective.
Get your cat desexed - this will help protect native wildlife as well as reducing the number of unwanted kittens that may go ‘feral’.
Do not ever release your cat in the bush - if you can no longer look after your cat, take the time to find them a new home or take them to the RSPCA.
Keep your dog from barking - if you live near bushland, a dog’s barking may be a significant form of stress to native animals. This is especially true for nocturnal animals that are trying to sleep during the daylight hours.
Keep your dog on a lead when walking near bushland - most dogs will chase and play with wildlife when the opportunity arises, and even one bite (or getting “picked up in the mouth”) can cause severe or even fatal injuries to a small animal.
Be responsible for your dog - it is important to ensure your dog is well trained and under control if a situation arises involving a native animal. Always pick up your dog’s faeces as these can cause problems to native wildlife too.
Care for wildlife in your own backyard - if you have native animals that live or visit in your backyard, carefully observe and train your dog to leave them alone. And for animals such as Blue tongue lizards you can also create a safe haven/rocky area where they can hide and seek shelter.
Make sure your rabbit enclosure is secure - besides the impact they have on native animals and their habitat if they become feral, rabbits in the bush may not survive and will suffer needlessly.
Do not ever release your rabbit in the bush - if you are unable to look after your pet either look for a new home or take them to the RSPCA for rehoming.
Desex your rabbit - this makes your rabbit less likely to want escape to find a mate, and will prevent it breeding if it were to escape.