Looking after wildlife also means caring for the environments that animals live in. We do this through management plans, research projects and working with our community to raise awareness. The whole community plays a role in protecting our unique animals.

We also have a Biodiversity Strategy that outlines plans and targets for protecting ecosystems that host our local wildlife.  

Our animals are managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) and its rangers. Local government rangers are not trained to capture wildlife but can connect you with carers and re-locators who can help.

Management plans, research projects and community outreach

The Western Ringtail Possum is a small to medium sized marsupial found only in the south-west of Western Australia. 

These possums have small round ears, a round teddy-bear like face and long white curly tail. They are much smaller and have shorter and darker fur than the common Brushtail Possum.

They spend most of their time in trees and are active mostly at night. They prefer peppermint trees like those found around Mandurah. They may also appear in your garden to feed on rose bushes or fruit trees.

Unfortunately, the number of Western Ringtail Possums is declining and their habitat has decreased over time due to urban development and the removal of large, old trees on private property. Other threats include fire, predators such as cats and foxes, domestic pets and being hit by cars. This has caused the Western Ringtail Possum to be listed as Threatened under state and federal legislation. 

Some of the strategies used in Mandurah to look after our Western Ringtail Possums are:

  • Possum Rope Bridge. This reduces the risk of injury from roads or predators. By working with the Peel Harvey Catchment CouncilBouvard Coastcare Group and Friends of Warrangup Springs through the National Landcare Program, the City now has a new possum rope bridge.
  • Western Ringtail Possum Species Recovery Group. The City of Mandurah is a part of this group, which aims to support the recovery of this species.
  • Cameras and monitoring. These help identify important trees and ecosystems.
  • Workshops and nightwalks. Community members can attend and learn about possums as well as possum photography.
  • Drey making and installation. Providing good nesting areas for possums can attract them to safer areas.
Get involved

If you would like to get involved with helping out our local possums you can:

  • Contact Bouvard Coastcare Group through their website
Learn more about Western Ringtail Possums

Carnaby’s Cockatoo is one of the three species of black-cockatoos that call Mandurah home. The other two species are Baudin’s Cockatoo and the Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

Black-cockatoos live in the hollows of Tuart and Marri trees, which take 100 or more years to form. This means that damage or removal of old trees and habitat are the greatest threats to these birds.

We are working on protection and recovery strategies for this endangered species. Some of these strategies include:

  • Maintenance of breeding and feeding sites.
  • Revegetation and community planting days.
  • Repairing old tree hollows.
  • Controlling galahs and feral bees.
  • Installing bird watering stations to improve their access to fresh water.

Westbury Way Birdwatering Station:

The City has installed a bird watering station at Westbury Way reserve in Dawesville. 

Water plays a large part in creating a suitable habitat, with cockatoos drinking 2-3 times per day.  

With suitable vegetation for roosting and feeding, Dawesville is a key habitat area for black-cockatoos. The bird waterer aims to improve this habitat by supplying the needed water.

The watering station is a 4m tall pole with four bowls and perches, which allow the black-cockatoos to rest and access fresh water. Timed water pumps refill the bowls to provide water even in the dry summer months. 

The height of the bowls also:

  • reduces the risks of car strikes as birds are flying in and out
  • protects the birds from predators on the ground such as cats, dogs and foxes.

 Ongoing revegetation at Westbury Way reserve is also part of this initiative to strengthen this habitat area.

This project and others to protect black-cockatoos are in partnership with Birdlife and Alcoa through the Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery project. 

Learn more about Carnaby's Cockatoos

Quenda, a type of bandicoot, are often seen in backyards and gardens. In 2017, the Backyard Bandicoots Partnership was set up to find out more about these animals and their relationship with native trees.

The partnership combined research from Murdoch University academics and resident-collected data to:

  • Improve quenda habitat to conserve quenda numbers.
  • Restore Tuart health.
  • Maintain a strong natural ecosystem around Mandurah.

The Backyard Bandicoots Project Description explains more about the project.

The Backyard Bandicoots Partnership has finished but we'd still love to hear from you if you spot a quenda.

If you see a quenda, log your sightings on iNaturalist or give Environmental Services a call on (08) 9550 3941.

This partnership was set up in 2016 to learn more about the bottlenose dolphins that use the Peel-Harvey Estuary and surrounding coastal waters. This information has helped to guide the  way we manage and protect this iconic local species.

The project was a partnership between Murdoch University, City of Mandurah, Peel Development Commission (via funding through the Royalties for Region program), Mandurah Cruises, Mandurah Volunteer Dolphin Rescue, and local residents John and Bella Perry.

There are approximately 80 resident dolphins that live in the Peel-Harvey Estuary and 500 individual dolphins visiting our waterways.

Our local dolphins are at risk of fishing line entanglement and shallow water stranding. You can help protect this species by:

  • Keeping waste out of waterways. If you see any rubbish or fishing line, please pick it up and put it in the bin.
  • If your fishing line gets tangled, don't cut it and leave it in the water. This is dangerous for our local wildlife, especially dolphins and birds, which can get tangled in the line.
  • Logging dolphin sightings on the Marine Fauna Sightings app.
  • Reporting any injured dolphins to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), by calling the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055. Visit DBCA to find out more about dolphin strandings. 

Looking out for our dolphins helps to connect our community to the environment.

Find out more about the project

Around 150,000 migratory and resident shorebirds visit or live in our Peel-Yalgorup wetlands and shores each year. Migratory shorebirds breed in the northern hemisphere in June and July before travelling to wetlands in the southern hemisphere to escape the harsh winters. They can be found feeding in the shallow waters of our coastal and inland wetlands from September to April each year.

The Peel-Yalgorup wetlands provide a much-needed stop for 39 species of birds that travel from Siberia, through East Asia and down to Australia each year. This route these birds follow as they migrate is called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Our wetlands are an important part of this flyway, where birds stop to eat and rest before heading back to the northern hemisphere to breed.

Coondanup Foreshore Reserve

Coodanup Foreshore Reserve is one area these migratory birds can be spotted over summer. To protect this shorebird habitat, we have created a bird sanctuary and observation zone. This protects the birds while still allowing the community to visit and appreciate their beauty. The sanctuary is called Djiba Gaabi Djerab Mia. In the Noongar language this means ‘place of the birds’.

At the sanctuary we have:

  • Planted vegetation.
  • Fenced off sensitive areas
  • Displayed educational signage.
  • Installed a bird hide. This is a small, closed-in shelter with a viewing area that allows bird observers to watch without disturbing the birds. Call the City on 9550 3777 to request access.
  • Worked with community groups, such as the Mandurah Bird Observers Group (MBOG), to spot birds and report issues like dogs off leads.

You can get involved by:

  • Observing the birds in their sanctuary. If using the bird hide, book on 9550 3777.
  • Taking part in the Birdlife Annual Shorebird Count.
  • Logging your bird sightings on the Birdata app.

This project was a collaboration between the City, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Alcoa and our local community.

This threatened bird species migrates down from northern WA to Mandurah from late spring to fish in the estuary. Some years, if we are lucky, they also nest and raise chicks in our beautiful city.

To nest, the terns need suitable breeding sites, which can be difficult to find in an urban area. By creating safe spaces for the terns in suitable breeding areas around Mandurah, we can support the growth of the local population. A thriving local population can also positively impact the strength of the global population. 

There are many ways you can get involved, including:

  • Avoid crossing the beach or vacant blocks where you can see Fairy Terns, particularly during nesting season (September-February).
  • If you are in the area keep an eye out for chicks running down to the water's edge. They look like small spotted cotton balls and blend in with the sand!
  • Keep an eye on your pets - avoid bringing dogs to the beach at this time and keep cats inside at home. 
  • Report and sightings of rabbits, cats, or foxes to Rangers on 9550 3777
  • Dispose of plastics and fishing waste correctly.

We want to make sure that any development impacts wildlife as little as possible. This means developers must submit a wildlife protection strategy as part of their development plan before the development can go ahead. 

These plans outline:

  • The extent of the works.
  • How the work may affect wildlife.
  • Plans to minimise or remediate this impact.


Common questions about wildlife

Magpies are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act (1950) and it is illegal to harm them. 

The City has no authority in the care, management or relocation of aggressive magpies during the nesting season.  The Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions – Parks and Wildlife Service manages all native fauna within the City of Mandurah.

Nesting season usually occurs between August and November. Magpies may show more aggressive behaviour during this time as they try to protect their young. 

Reduce your risk of being swooped:

  • Show you are not a threat by not hassling the birds, making eye contact and saying hello in a calm voice.
  • Dismount your bike or walk quickly but don’t run.
  • Protect your face with a hat, helmet & sunglasses.
  • Travel in groups if possible (magpies are more likely to swoop individuals) .
  • Report incidents involving territorial magpies to the City and plan alternative routes around known swooping areas.
  • Be kind to magpies year-round, these birds have great memories. 

In extreme cases, a particularly aggressive magpie may be removed from a site. The Parks and Wildlife Service must assess each individual case.

Report concerns to the Department’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.
Or visit the Parks and Wildlife Service website for more tips on living with magpies. 

Please use this information in planning your travels within the City. The City is aware of swooping magpies in the following locations:

  • Irrawaddy Drive/ Zambesi Drive Greenfields
  • Scarab Close, Halls Head
  • Peelwood Reserve, Halls Head
  • Western Foreshore Skatepark
  • Olive St Falcon
Learn more about living with magpies

What do I do if I see a dead kangaroo?      

Report it to the City’s Customer Services department on (08) 9550 3777 and arrangements will be made for its removal.

What if I find an injured kangaroo?

Rangers can assess whether the kangaroo is able to be assisted medically or not. It may have a joey in which case we will need to give it to a wildlife carer.

What do I do if I find a snake in my house or garden?

Rangers can provide you with contact details of a wildlife re-locator who will happily assist.

It is an offence to kill a snake. Please do not try to capture or kill the snake yourself– this is when many snake bite occur.

Who will capture and relocate the snake?

  • Allison Dixon - 0401 314 701    
  • Dave Inwood (volunteer) - 0437 989 732
  • DPAW Wildcare Helpline - 9474 9055
  • Paul Kenyon, Snakebusters Rockingham (fees apply) - 0439 941 004
  • Paul Sewell, Wannanup, Falcon, Dawesvile areas only (fees apply) - 0400 389 423
  • Alec Milroy, Mandurah (volunteer) - 0409 174 004
  • Kyrah-Dean Amos-Harris (donation requested) - 0452 562 407

What if I have problems with bees?

Do not disturb or agitate the hive or swarm. Leave them alone and call a professional Bee Keeper for hive removal. Swarms are usually there in passing and will move on.

What do I do if I find an injured dolphin?

There are specialised wildlife carers that can assist with dolphins that are in distress or injured. Please do not approach the dolphin as this may distress it further causing additional injuries.

Who do I contact for assistance?

  • Mandurah Dolphin Rescue - 0418 947 626 or 0407 090 284
  • DPAW Wildcare Helpline - (08) 9474 9055

What do I do if I find an injured bird?

Avoid handling the injured bird and call a specialised rescuers.

Who do I contact for assistance?

What do I do if I find a snake in my house or garden?

Rangers (9550 3777)  can provide you with contact details of a wildlife re-locator who will happily assist.

Please do not try to capture or kill the snake yourself -  this is when many snake bites occur.  It is also an offence to kill a snake.

Who will capture and relocate the snake? 

  • Dave Inwood (volunteer) - 0437 989 732
  • Paul Kenyon, Snakebusters Rockingham (fees apply) - 0439 941 004
  • Allison Dixon 0401 314 701
  • Kyrah-Dean Amos-Harris (donation requested) - 0452 562 407
  • Alec Milroy (volunteer - no fee) - 0409 174 004

What if I have problems with bees?

Do not disturb or agitate the hive or swarm. Leave them alone and call a professional Bee Keeper for hive removal. Swarms are usually there in passing and will move on.

Who do I contact for assistance?

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