City of Cockburn, PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC, Western Australia, 6965
Telephone: (08) 9411 3444

Plants, Animals and Insects

The City of Cockburn has many environments which support a range of native and exotic animals.  To find out more information about some of our native anaimals download a Living with Wildlife brochure.

For more information click on a link below or scroll down to view all.


Ants |Bandicoots| Bats | Bees | Birds | Cats | Foxes | Midge | Mosquitoes Millipedes | Snakes | RabbitsTurtles | Wasps 
Plants and Environmental Weeds


For some years now, the City has been actively involved in the monitoring and control of nuisance midge from wetlands within the City. Midge swarms from these wetlands occur during the spring and summer months. While midge are a natural part of the ecosystem their swarms can result in considerable nuisance to residents living up to a kilometre away. For up to date information on midge management and helpful tips to minimise midge problems click here.


According to the Department of Health there are almost 100 species of mosquitoes in Western Australia and many of these can be serious pests. Female mosquitoes need blood to develop their eggs and this is why they bite. A mosquitoes bite can potentially infect an individual with disease causing viruses and parasites. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and are most active in the warmer weather.

The City of Cockburn's Health Services recognises that mosquitoes are a nuisance and actively monitors mosquito numbers within the City's vicinity. For more information on monitoring and trapping and protecting yourself from mosquitoes click here.


There a number of species of ants in Perth, these can be both native and invasive species. Common invasive species that are considered pests include the Coastal brown ant, the Argentine ant, Black house ants and White-footed house ants. Ants are usually most active from late spring to early winter. Some ants are considered pests because they can eliminate native species from an area and can cause significant cost to the community in trying to control and eradicate them.

If you wish to obtain information on controlling ants contact the Department of Agriculture and Food or alternatively speak to your local pest control representative.


Bees are a dull shade of yellow or golden brown, with black stripes. The average worker bee is around 13-17mm long; queen bees are much bigger. Bees are most active in spring and summertime when there are copious amounts of nectar and pollen and/or they are looking for water. Swarms are frequent from spring to January. Feral bee hives are targeted for removal from within conservation reserves as these hives can compete with native species such as the Red-capped parrot, for use of nesting hollows in trees.

Bee's nests and consequently swarms can pose a hazard to human health. If you come across a bee's nest or swarm that is causing a nuisance on your property you may wish to contact a pest control professional. If on council land please contact the City's Parks Services on 9411 3444.

Source: T. Gardiner


There are two types of wasp in Western Australia, the European Wasp and the Paper Wasp both of which are introduced species. The European Wasp has a similar appearance to a bee in both shape and colouring. The Paper Wasp however is longer and thinner, with a narrow waist, varying in colour from bright yellow and black to brown with yellow and black stripes.

Wasps can sting repeatedly, so it is best to avoid them and their nests if possible. For more information on wasp identification, nests and treatment please refer to Health Services by clicking here.

European Wasp

Paper Wasp

Portuguese Millipedes

Portuguese millipedes are an introduced species with a smooth cylindrical body, ranging in colour from black/grey to light brown. Portuguese millipedes normally live outdoors where they feed on leaf litter, damp wood and mosses but cause the most inconvenience during the spring and autumn rainfall season, seeking shelter by invading households. However they are not harmful to animals or humans and do not breed inside homes.

Click here for handy tips and more information from Health Services.


Foxes range in colour from pale red to deep reddish brown, with white underparts and usually black legs. The tail is bushy and almost always tipped with white or black hairs. Foxes are active mainly at night, resting during the day in a den or in sheltered sites. A fox may use several resting sites within its home range and does not necessarily return to the same site each day.

Foxes hunt alone and for part of the year are basically solitary animals. They become more social as the breeding season approaches, forming or re-establishing pairs in June- July.

Foxes are considered pests in Western Australia as they not only cause damage and loss to the agricultural sector, but there is evidence to show they have caused the decline in some Australian native species. The City conducts fox control in selected conservation reserves through non-baiting mechanisms.

If you see foxes on your property please contact a licensed animal pest controller, alternatively if you see foxes within Cockburn nature reserves please notify Environmental Services on 9411 3444.


Wild rabbits are typically grey-brown with a pale belly. Rabbits are largely nocturnal animals living in burrows and dense shrubs. The breeding season for rabbits can extend from May to November, resulting in the highest populations in late winter and spring.

Calicivirus released-Read More

Rabbits can cause severe environmental damage through pasture and native bush degradation and soil erosion; they also compete with native species. As a result they are considered pests in Western Australia. The City engages an animal pest specialist to help control numbers of rabbits within selected conservation reserves. Several reserves are also fitted with rabbit proof fences to help reduce access. If rabbits are a nuisance on your property you may wish to contact a licensed animal pest controller. More information about rabbits can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture and Food. If you notice evidence of rabbits in Cockburn nature reserves, please contact Environmental Services on 9411 3444.


Domestic household pets, particularly cats, can be responsible for causing serious decline in native species when left to roam free. Owners need to ensure responsible cat ownership, click here for more information.



As the weather warms up in spring and summer snakes come out of hibernation to bask in the sunlight, to find food and a mate. This causes concerns and potential risks for people and their pets.

However it is important to remember that snakes live in the environment of the metropolitan area and are an integral part of the natural environment and play an important role in the ecosystem. People and snakes can co-habitat; as long as people are careful and take precautions the possibility of a dangerous encounter can be reduced.

The Department of Environment and Conservation suggests that the two most commonly encountered dangerously venomous snakes in the Perth metropolitan area are Dugites and Tiger snakes. Both species are active in the day and at night in the warmer weather.

If you encounter a snake it is important to not approach or aggravate it in anyway. If you find a snake in your garden or home you should contact the Department of Environment and Conservation Wildcare Hotline on (08) 9474 9055 and you will be referred to one of a number of volunteer reptile removers. If volunteers are not available a number of commercial operators can provide snake removal services.

For more information download a Living with Snakes brochure.

Source: D. Robinson


The Oblong Turtle- also known as the Western long neck turtle is native to Western Australia. It occurs in seasonal and permanent fresh water areas such as lakes, rivers and swamps. The oblong turtle has an oval shaped black shell (carapace) that can reach a length of 26cm in adults, the neck is almost as long as the carapace making the turtle around 50cm long. The turtles are most often seen in spring and summer; it is between September and January each year that the females leave the water in search of suitable sandy soils in which to lay their eggs. When searching for suitable nesting locations, female turtles often cross busy roadways, causing a hazard to vehicles and risking injury or death. The City is involved with current research on the Oblong turtle to help better understand its biology and how we can protect them. You can get involved by joining programs like Turtlewatch or visit the Western Australian museum site.

If you see a long-necked turtle making its way to a nesting site in safe conditions please leave it be. If you feel that the turtle is in an unsafe environment or doesn't belong there (for example your front yard) please call Environmental Services on 9411 3444. If you find an injured turtle please call Native Arc for assistance on 9417 7105.


Two types of bats occur in Western Australia: Flying-foxes (megabats) and insectivorous bats (microbats). Megabats weigh over a kilogram and feed mainly on fruits and nectars. Microbats mainly feed on insects and can be as small as 40mm in length. Both bats are active in the evening and can be observed when feeding at dusk. Most bats cause no problems at all and form part of a natural ecosystem by being pest control agents. It is very unlikely that bats will interact with people unless by mistake or distressed or threatened, even then they would be unlikely to cause any physical harm unless injured, cornered or captured.

If a flying fox roosts in your backyard they should be left alone as they are likely to move on within a few days. Insectivorous bats can roost under eaves and shingles and can enter living spaces through very small gaps of 1cm diameter. If they are not causing a nuisance there may be no need to evict them, however if they are causing problems, they can be deterred by blocking entry points. Bats help to reduce numbers of flying insects like midge and mosquitoes.

Please note that bats are a protected species that may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Therefore bats may not be captured, moved or relocated without a permit and must be done so by a professional. The City has invested in bat boxes located in trees within selected conservation reserves to help promote bat activity.

For more information visit the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Source: T. Reardon


Bandicoots are a marsupial with a smallish body, rounded ears and a pointed head. They have a coarse dark greyish or yellowish brown fur above and creamy-white below with a tapered dark brown tail. Bandicoots eat insects, small vertebrates and plant matter.

There are 16 species and sub-species in Australia with six native to Western Australia. Quenda is the indigenous name given to the sub-species found only in WA's southwest. Since European settlement three bandicoot species have become extinct in Australia. Once more widely distributed, the Western Australian Quenda is now located as far as Guilderton in the North of Perth, to the east of Esperance and inland as far as Hyden.

The Quenda is a protected and priority listed species in WA. They are habitual to dense scrubby, sometimes swampy vegetation with dense cover and may often be found in the bushland of urban areas and properties. The main current threat to the Quenda is a loss of habitat due to development as well as the threat of predation by foxes, cats and dogs.

For information about bandicoots including how to encourage them on your property click here.



  There are a number of birds in the Cockburn areas andreserves,they play both a useful role in balancing the natural ecosystem and can be a natural pest agent. The brochures below show a guide to the various birds in the Cockburn reserves and regional areas as well as a focus on the importance of not feeding wild birds- appropriately entitled Feed a Bird, How Absurd!

Feed a Bird, How Absurd!

Birds and Reserves of the City of Cockburn

If you come across an injured bird please contact Native Arc 9417 7105 for assistance.

Plants and Environmental Weeds

There are a number of garden plants that can become bushland weeds, such as the Arum Lily, Blue Periwinkles, Lantana, Gazania, the Coastal Tea Tree and Gladiolus to name a few. Please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Food for identification of these plants and ways to prevent the spread of such plants into native bushland or click here.

To find out what native plants will grow well in your garden check out the City's Grow Local Brochures.


Information and Pictures Sourced from:

The Department of Agriculture

The Department of Environment and Conservation