Wildlife Awareness

One of the main ways you can have a positive impact on our native wildlife is by simply being aware. By having the knowledge of the different species that we live alongside, we can make a difference to the welfare and population of these amazing critters.


Copperhead Snake (Image: Australian Museum)

As the weather gets warmer, we see more of these guys coming out of their winter hibernation. 

If you are exercising outdoors or simply gardening in your yard, please be aware that snakes may be around, and make sure you’re informed about how to react to them if you encounter one. 

Don’t forget that snakes are more scared of us than we are of them. Please remember the following points when it comes to snakes: 

  • When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people. 

  • If you see a snake, keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you (including pets) away from the area. 

  • If you suspect your pet has been bitten, take it to a vet immediately. 

  • Don't attempt to capture or harm snakes.  

  • Maintain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials. 

  • Undertake first aid training and ensure your first aid kit contains several compression bandages, and if someone is bitten, call 000 immediately. 

Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to harm or kill them or capture them without authority. Reports of people wilfully destroying protected wildlife will be investigated by the Conservation Regulator. 

Use the below tool to help locate and contact the closest relevant wildlife carers and rescue rehabilitation organisations to help. We have so many amazing volunteers in the area who give up their time for the native wildlife.


Australian Fur Seal (Image: Julia Back / CSIRO)

If you encounter a seal, there are some rules you must abide by 

  • Do not approach within 30 metres of a seal on land, whether you are also on land or in the water. 

  • Dogs are not permitted within 50 metres of a seal on land. 

  • Do not approach within 5 metres of a seal on a boat ramp, pier, jetty or other infrastructure connected to land and designed for access to the water. 

  • Do not approach on a vessel within 30 metres of a seal haul out site. 

  • If you are swimming, do not approach within 5 metres of a haul out site. 

  • Dogs must not enter the water within 150 metres of a dolphin, 300 metres of a whale or 50 metres of a seal. 

  • It is illegal to touch or feed a seal 

It is important that these rules are followed to ensure seal welfare and public safety. 

There are some situations where a seal may be in distress and require human assistance. Examples of these include the seal being in a dangerous location, poor body condition, eye injuries/infections or entanglement. 

If you believe a seal is in any of these situations, please call the Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678 or call Wildlife Victoria on 136 186. 

Injured wildlife 

Another way in which you can help is knowing who to call if you come across injured wildlife. 

For any wildlife emergencies please contact Wildlife Victoria on 136 186.  

For whale or dolphin emergencies, please contact the DEECA Whale and Dolphin hotline on 1300 136 017 

For any marine wildlife including seals, sea birds, penguins, please contact the Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678. 

If you are ever unsure who to contact, use the below tool developed by Wildlife Victoria to determine best contact for each animal and situation.