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Noxious plants and pest animals

Noxious plants and wildlife can have a significant negative impact on biodiversity, particularly in urbanised areas. 

Pest Control

Pest animals are defined as non-native, or introduced species that are, or have the potential to become, established in the wild through escape from captivity. Their introduction to the wild may be through deliberate or accidental release. It may also be a result of accidental or illegal importation.

A barking dog or possum may be a nuisance, however they are not officially classified as a pest. To be considered a pest animal species, it must be listed in the relevant legislation.

Pest animal species have a pronounced impact primarily on native fauna. Predation by several feral species have been listed as a key threatening process under the Threatened Species Conservation (TSC) Act 1995. The species listed under this Act known to occur in Canterbury-Bankstown are:

Other animals that are often considered pests, but that aren't listed under the TSC Act include:
Native animals can also become a nuisance or danger. Brush-tailed possums, snakes, spiders and some birds are all well-known to get inside houses. Although these animals can be a nuisance, all native animals are protected by law in NSW.

Council works closely with neighbouring councils and state agencies to manage pest animals across the region. Council actively:

There are many things you can do to help reduce the impact of pest animals.

  • Do not release unwanted pets into parks or waterways;
  • Remove uneaten food from around your property and secure garbage bin lids;
  • Put several bells on your cat's collar to warn wildlife of its approach and keep them indoors as much as possible;
  • Be sure to practice responsible pet ownership by desexing your pets to prevent unwanted/unplanned litters;
  • Regularly monitor your yard to ensure that pets are contained;
  • Learn more about new pest animals and how to report them; and
  • Report fox and other feral animal sightings on feral scan. 
Red-eared Slider Turtle

Red-eared Slider Turtles are an exotic pest that competes with native turtles for food and basking sites. They get their name from the small red dash around their ears, and from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly.

Listed in the top 100 Feral Animals of the World, they are a Declared Pest Species across Australia and it is illegal import them into Australia or keep them as pets.

In the Canterbury-Bankstown area, Red-eared Slider Turtles have been sighted basking on rocks near ponds. However, when the weather is warm and wet these turtles may be seen wandering away from ponds in search of places to lay eggs.

Sydney is home to several species of native turtle, including the Eastern Long-necked Turtle and Murray Short-necked Turtle. The Red-eared Slider Turtle's most distinguishing feature is the red patch behind each eye, although this fades with age.

Report all sightings of Red-eared Slider Turtles.

If you see a Red-eared Slider Turtle note your location, take a photo of it and report it to the Department of Primary Industries using the online reporting form.

If you have caught a Red-eared Slider Turtle, please contact the Department of Primary Industries on 02 6391 3525 to arrange for it to be collected safety.

It is illegal to keep Red-eared Slider Turtle as pets.

Do not release Red-eared Slider Turtles into creeks, rivers or park ponds. If you have an exotic turtle that you no longer want, please report it for surrender to the Department of Primary Industries.

Feral rabbit control program

The feral European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) arrived in Australia with the First Fleet, and today is one of the most abundant mammals in Australia. It causes severe damage to the natural environment, agriculture and, increasingly, urban areas.

The feral rabbit and the domestic rabbit are the same species. Released, or escaped, domestic rabbits will readily interbreed with feral rabbits. In the Sydney region, rabbits typically breed all year round due to high rainfall and good pasture conditions.

 

 

Under NSW legislation, all landowners with rabbits on their property, including councils, are responsible for their control.

The impacts of feral rabbits in urban areas can be vast and diverse. Examples of rabbit-related impact can include damage to suburban parks, picnic areas, sports fields, residential gardens, nature strips, footpaths and road verges.

In urban areas, a combination of traditional and biological control techniques will help reduce feral rabbit population and minimise the damage they cause.

Currently, Council is focused on managing rabbits in Milperra. A controlled baiting program was conducted in June 2016 at Newland Reserve, where the NSW Government-approved pesticide, Pindone, was used. It achieved an 80 per cent reduction in the rabbit population.

Following the baiting program, Council participated in the national release of a biological rabbit control called RHDV1 K5 (a type of calicivirus) in March 2017. This control technique is only harmful to rabbits and was found to reduce the Milperra feral rabbit population by 75%. To ensure effective control of the feral rabbit population, the virus must be re-released periodically. Hence, it is timely to re-release the RHDV1 K5 virus to ensure continual control of feral rabbits in Milperra.

A rabbit trap loan service will also continue to be offered to Milperra residents.

  • Keep a look out for signs in Newland, Vasta, Dunstan and Heritage Reserves with details of the rabbit control program.
  • Practise responsible pet ownership by ensuring pet rabbits are up-to-date with vaccinations.
  • If carrots are observed in the reserves, please leave them for feral rabbits to consume.
  • Report any deceased rabbits to Council for disposal.
  • Report rabbit sightings at feralscan.org.au

The calicivirus is only harmful to rabbits. Humans, cats, dogs and native animals will not become ill if the bait (or an affected rabbit) is consumed.

Residents with pet rabbits are encouraged to practice responsible pet ownership and ensure vaccinations are current.

For more information, go to the FeralScan website, the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage website, as well as Council's Responsible pet ownership page.

Fox control program

The European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) was introduced into Australia in the 1800s for recreational hunting and is now found throughout the country, including Sydney. Foxes are highly efficient hunters, resourceful scavengers and cause a significant threat to Australia's native animals.

 

 

Under NSW legislation, all landowners with foxes on their property, including councils, are responsible for their control.

Foxes have played a major role in the decline of many native species including ground-nesting birds, small to medium sized mammals, and reptiles. They are also known to distribute weed seeds across the region, can spread diseases, and are a threat to backyard chickens.

Many of our parks and reserves, like Lansdowne Reserve, are home to a diversity of native wildlife, including birds, frogs, turtles, possums and echidnas. In order to protect these areas and the plants and animals that call them home, fox control is required. 

Controlling foxes is very complex in urban areas and requires many different landowners working together. For this reason, Council works closely with neighbouring Councils and State agencies to manage foxes across the region.

In urban areas, a combination of control techniques are required to help reduce fox populations and minimise the damage they cause. Control may involve trapping using cage or padded jaw-traps, den fumigation, baiting or nocturnal firearm culls.

Council has safely and humanely controlled foxes in reserves along the Georges River since 2014. The program has been successfully expanded to include parks and reserves along the Cooks River, Wolli Creek and Salt Pan Creek. A list of control locations are listed below.

In February 2020, Council commenced a fox trapping program at Lansdowne Reserve to reduce fox numbers in sensitive environmental protection areas. The trapping program involves using a combination of cage and padded jaw-traps that are monitored daily by an experienced and licenced contractor. Reserves remain open to the public when traps are deployed with warning signs at entrances and throughout to remind residents to keep to walking paths and keep dogs on leads.

A fox cage-trap loan service will also continue to be offered to residents with problem foxes on private property.

Bass Hill / Bura Ward: Mirambeena Regional Park (including Garrison Point, Lake Gillawarna, Flinders Slope, Shortland Brush), Boggabilla Reserve, Lansdowne Reserve, Sefton Golf Course and Maluga Passive Park.

Canterbury/ Budjar Ward: Waterworth Park, Gough Whitlam Park, Tasker Park, Little Tasker Park, Beaman Park, Lees Park, Croydon Park, Picken Oval, Rosedale Reserve and Sando Reserve.

Revesby / Bunya Ward: Lambeth Reserve, Monash Reserve, East Hills Park, Deepwater Park, Kelso Waste Management Facility, Kelso Park North, Kelso Park South, Marco Reserve, Killara Reserve, Field of Dreams, Vale of Ah and Bill Delauney Reserve.

Roselands/ Bunmarra Ward: Salt Pan Creek Reserve and McLaughlin Oval.

Do not approach any trapped animal. Trapped animals may be aggressive and cause harm if approached. Call Council immediately on 9707 9000 to report any trapped animal. If you observe the animal outside business hours, Council's pest control contractor (Australian Feral Management) can be reached on 1300 669 546.

Fox sightings can be reported to Council via the FoxScan website. Your information will help to map the distribution of foxes, enabling Council to make better decisions about fox control and management. The mapping of fox sightings, fox damage and their dens is an important step towards regional fox control.

Out and about

Keep a look out for signs in Lansdowne Reserve with details of the fox control program. Practise responsible pet ownership by ensuring dogs are kept on a leash. Report the location of fox dens to Council. Report fox sightings to Council through the FoxScan website.

At home

Do not leave food outside. Keep garbage bin lids closed and when your pet has finished eating remove all leftovers. Do not leave chicken feed uncontained. This may attract rats that will then attract the foxes into your yard. Turn outside lights off at night to prevent attracting insects. Ensure chickens are contained in a secure chicken coop at night. Foxes are excellent climbers and diggers, so enclosures need to either have a roof or fences at least two metres high and an overhang of 30 centimetres. The floor will need to be protected with mesh or alternatively, bury the overhang into the ground and outwards of the enclosure.

Water weeds

Report them to Council’s biosecurity officer on 9707 9000.

Frogbit

Limnobium laevigatum
 

 
What does it look like?
Frogbit has smooth, round leaves about four centimetres across. The top sides of the leaves are glossy and the underside of each leaf looks and feels like a sponge.

 

Water Hyacinth 

Eichhornia crassipes
 

 
What does it look like?
Water Hyacinth leaves are glossy green arising from vase-shaped floating leaf stalks. Flowers can be pale blue to dark bluish purple with a yellow mark on the top petal.

Salvinia molesta
 


 
What does it look like?
Salvinia is an aquatic fern with pairs of hairy floating leaves and a submerged root-like structure, individual plants float together forming dense mats.
 

Water Lettuce

Pistia stratiotes
 

 
What does it look like?
 
Water lettuce looks like an open head of lettuce, growing up to 30 centimetres wide.
The ribbed leaves are spongy to touch and are covered with small hairs. A mass of feathery roots up to 80 centimetres long are submersed in the water.
Water weeds are aquatic plants that are not native to the area. They have the ability to rapidly multiply and smother an entire waterbody in a short amount of time. They can be found in ponds, dams, lakes, rivers, aquariums and creeks.
 
You may see them for sale in Aquariums, at market stalls or online. Please be aware that it is illegal to buy, sell or trade these plants.
Water weeds harm our agriculture, environment and economy because they:
  • Clog waterways, making it difficult to access for fishing, swimming, boating;
  • Block sunlight, cool the water and reduce water quality;
  • Alter the ecosystem by smothering native plants and reducing habitat for fish, birds and animals; and
  • Block irrigation channels and equipment.
Further spread of floating water weeds can be prevented by notifying Council’s Biosecurity Weed Officer to assist with their identification and removal.
If you have seen any of these plants, please contact Council’s Biosecurity Weed Officer on 9707 9000.

Report them to Council’s biosecurity officer on 9707 9000.

Wasps

If you have identified a colony of wasps that are of a concern to you then the responsibility of controlling them will be dependent on where they are located

Report all wasp nests that are located on Council land and associated properties. We will arrange for the removal of the nests and the eradication of remaining wasps, as efficiently as possible.

If nests are located on your property, or private property, the owner or occupier/tenant is responsible for the removal of wasps. It's advised that the nests are treated by a qualified pest controller who has the proper equipment and measures to deal with the problem safely. It's not recommended that you perform the task yourself.

The Yellow Pages has a number of service providers listed, who will perform wasp removal and​  pest control. You can access the Yellow Pages online at www.yellowpages.com.au.

For more information, call Council's Customer Service Centre on 9707 9000.