Living Harmoniously with Wildlife

Backyard Buddy Habitats

Create Habitat and build homes for your backyard buddies
Take a look at their selection of DIY Projects and ‘How To’ guides that can be done at home for all different types of taxa. Build, Grow and Plant – watch, learn and have fun with your backyard buddies.

Let’s discuss pet cats

“My cat is different”

– Quote from each and every cat owner

Australia is teeming with cats. While cats make great pets and can bring owners emotional, psychological and health benefits, the animals are a scourge on native wildlife. Cats kill a staggering 1.7 billion native animals yearly and have played a major role in most of Australia’s 34 mammal extinctions. They continue to pose an extinction threat to at least another 120 species.

Read more about this in this conversation article.

Legge et al., 2020

Have a read of some of the evidence-based research:

Loss, S.R., Boughton, B., Cady, S.M., Londe, D.W., McKinney, C., O’Connell, T.J., Riggs, G.J. and Robertson, E.P., 2022. Review and synthesis of the global literature on domestic cat impacts on wildlife. Journal of Animal Ecology91(7), pp.1361-1372.

Woinarski, J.C.Z., Legge, S.M., Woolley, L.A., Palmer, R., Dickman, C.R., Augusteyn, J., Doherty, T.S., Edwards, G., Geyle, H., McGregor, H. and Riley, J., 2020. Predation by introduced cats Felis catus on Australian frogs: compilation of species records and estimation of numbers killed. Wildlife Research47(8), pp.580-588.

Legge, S., Woinarski, J.C., Dickman, C.R., Murphy, B.P., Woolley, L.A. and Calver, M.C., 2020. We need to worry about Bella and Charlie: the impacts of pet cats on Australian wildlife. Wildlife Research47(8), pp.523-539.

Legge, S., Taggart, P.L., Dickman, C.R., Read, J.L. and Woinarski, J.C., 2020. Cat-dependent diseases cost Australia AU $6 billion per year through impacts on human health and livestock production. Wildlife Research47(8), pp.731-746.

Dickman, C.R., 2009. House cats as predators in the Australian environment: impacts and management. Human-Wildlife Conflicts3(1), pp.41-48.

Lilith, M., Calver, M., Styles, I. and Garkaklis, M., 2006. Protecting wildlife from predation by owned domestic cats: Application of a precautionary approach to the acceptability of proposed cat regulations. Austral Ecology31(2), pp.176-189.

Trouwborst, A., McCormack, P.C. and Martínez Camacho, E., 2020. Domestic cats and their impacts on biodiversity: A blind spot in the application of nature conservation law. People and Nature2(1), pp.235-250.

Containing your cat
Just like humans, cats need physical, mental, and emotional stimuli too. There are some great solutions for your fur baby, like these luxury enclosures:
The incredible ‘Meow Manor’

Feeding native wildlife

We do not recommend feeding wildlife.
Feeding encourages birds to become dependent on humans for their survival, they can lose the ability to find food for themselves (especially if they are juveniles), but people don’t realise that it can cause harm to them (more info on this coming soon below).

The best thing you can do if to plant native plants, leave out plenty of water, and create lovely habitat for them to forage naturally.


We appreciate that people connect with wildlife by feeding them.
We believe that educating people about diets and behaviour can help people reduce any potential damage or risk to the animals and make responsible choices.

LorikeetsWombaroo Lorikeet and Honeyeater Food

Supplementing Wild Birds (Advice from Wombaroo)
Set up an elevated feeding station. Provide the prepared food in a shallow, glazed bowl. Ration daily feed to no more than 10mL per lorikeet or 5mL per honeyeater. Limit the frequency of food offered to reduce dependence on the food. Remove the bowl daily and thoroughly clean it. Disease transmission and predators can be a problem at feed stations. An alternative to direct feeding is to plant native shrubs and provide fresh water.

Meat Eaters – Coming soon

Wildlife friendly netting

All netting should pass the ‘finger test’: If you can poke your finger through it- it is not safe!

Wildlife friendly fencing


Rodenticides (substances used to kill rodents, such as rat poison
Insecticides (substances used to kill insects)
Molluscicides (substances used to kill molluscs, such as snail baits)
Herbicides (substances used to kill weeds)

Pesticides are indiscriminate – they poison native and non-native species alike. The concentration of these poisons increases up the food chain.

What does this mean?

When you lay a poison bait for a rat, the rat will eat the bait and wobble into the open while haemorrhaging internally.
In turn, a native predator (such as an owl) will see the rat- grab it and eat it (smugly)- and in turn, suffer from the consequences of ingesting poison.
All you need to know about poisons.

Research highlights

Lohr, M.T., 2018. Anticoagulant rodenticide exposure in an Australian predatory bird increases with proximity to developed habitat. Science of the Total Environment643, pp.134-144.

  • Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) exposure rates are poorly studied in Australian wildlife.
  • ARs were detected in 72.6% of Southern Boobook owls found dead or moribund in Western Australia.
  • Total AR exposure correlated with proximity to developed habitat.
  • ARs used only by licensed pesticide applicators were detected in owls.
  • Raptors with larger home ranges and more mammal-based diets may be at greater risk of AR exposure.

Lohr, M.T. and Davis, R.A., 2018. Anticoagulant rodenticide use, non-target impacts and regulation: A case study from Australia. Science of the Total Environment634, pp.1372-1384.

  • Anticoagulant rodenticides are implicated in non-target wildlife poisoning in Australia.
  • No comprehensive monitoring of non-target exposure has been conducted.
  • Australia’s usage patterns and lax regulations may increase the risk of non-target poisoning.
  • Reptiles may be important vectors of rodenticides in Australia and other tropical and arid areas.
  • Humans may be at risk of rodenticide exposure when consuming large reptiles.

Cooke, R., Whiteley, P., Jin, Y., Death, C., Weston, M.A., Carter, N. and White, J.G., 2022. Widespread exposure of powerful owls to second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in Australia spans an urban to agricultural and forest landscape. Science of The Total Environment819, p.153024.

  • Powerful owls feed almost exclusively on arboreal marsupials not rodents.
  • SGARs were detected in 83.3% of powerful owls.
  • Brodifacoum was detected in all owls where a rodenticide was detected.
  • Non-target poisoning of possums may lead to secondary poisoning of powerful owls.
  • Non-target poisoning may be leading to high prevalence of SGARs in predators.

Lettoof, D.C., Lohr, M.T., Busetti, F., Bateman, P.W. and Davis, R.A., 2020. Toxic time bombs: Frequent detection of anticoagulant rodenticides in urban reptiles at multiple trophic levels. Science of the Total Environment724, p.138218.

  • First detections of ARs in wild reptiles outside of an eradication event
  • Frequency of detection varies by trophic tier and dietary preference.
  • Exposure in urban reptiles may cause risks to human health where reptiles are regularly eaten.
  • Reptiles are potentially good indicators of AR exposure in the food web.

Wildlife rescue- who to call?

Download the IFAW wildlife rescue app and find your local wildlife rescue organisation

IFAW Rescue App- Must have!