Managing animal pests
- Native animals are protected by law and you are not allowed to cause intentional harm to them.
- If a native animal is a nuisance, you will need to employ non-harmful methods to reduce their impact. You should never feed native animals and also avoid animal nesting sites.
- Agriculture Victoria has information on managing pest animals and is responsible for both managing problem native wildlife and issuing permits to handle or move native animals.
- Snakes are native animals and are protected by law under the Wildlife Act 1975. You are not allowed to cause deliberate harm to them.
- We do not provide a snake catching or removal service. You will need to contact a licenced snake catcher for this.
What to do if you see a snake
- Snakes normally avoid people. Most snake bites happen when people try to catch or kill snakes. Do your best to stay calm if you spot one, and leave it alone.
- Keep children, cats and dogs away from the snake.
- If you are concerned about the snake, try to keep an eye on where it goes then contact a licenced snake catcher. (Google ‘snake catcher near me’ for listings). You can also call DELWP on 136 186 for further advice.
The season for swooping magpies is between July and November when they are defending their eggs and young chicks. Magpies often become more aggressive as the chicks become older, but swooping usually stops once the young have left the nest.
We do not relocate magpies as they are native Australian animals which are protected under the Wildlife Act.
A magpie will only defend its nest within a ‘defence zone’. For pedestrians, this is usually an area within 110 metres and for cyclists it is 150 metres. Defensive behaviour can include pecking, dive-bombing and sometimes front-on attacks from the ground. The risk of eye injury means all magpie attacks need to be taken seriously.
Tips when experiencing swooping magpies
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses or shelter under an umbrella to protect your face from swooping magpies (painting or sticking large ‘eyes’ on the back of your hat can also deter magpies, but this won’t work for cyclists).
- If a magpie swoops while you are cycling, it will probably stop swooping if you get off your bike and walk.
- Avoid ‘defence zones’ by taking alternative routes during the breeding season.
- If you must enter a ‘defence zone’, magpies will be less likely to swoop if you maintain eye contact, or if people walk in a close group.
- Waving sticks or umbrellas in the air or attaching a brightly coloured flag on a long pole to your bicycle can stop magpies from swooping.
See the Victorian Government's Magpie map.
Hand-feeding or leaving out seed or other food for wild cockatoos can cause them to flock in excessive numbers to residential areas, where they can damage houses and decks and create a noise problem.
In the wild cockatoos spend most of their day searching for food. Cockatoos also need to chew to keep their beaks healthy, so providing an easy source of food gives them more time to damage property and crops and reduces their ability to find their own food in the wild.
Bees and wasps
As a resident you are responsible for organising the removal of bees and wasps on private property.
Foxes are pest animals and cause harm to native wildlife and other animals. Visit the Agriculture Victoria website for fox management information.
There is currently a Victorian Government fox bounty program in place.