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Wildlife in Knox

Lots of native animals share the places we live in.

They include birds, butterflies, insects, frogs, echidnas, platypuses and native mammals.

Local wildlife

We live with an abundance of wildlife in the city of Knox, including:


Knox is a well-known haven for all kinds of native birds.

Local open spaces such as parks, bushland reserves, vegetated road verges and wildlife gardens provide an abundance of natural foods and habitat for local wildlife.

Do not feed wild birds. It does them more harm than good. Providing regular food can cause a variety of problems and impacts on the local ecology.

We ask that you respect the wild nature of birds and help to keep them healthy by not feeding or handling them.

You can learn more about our local birds on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website.

Butterflies, insects, spiders and bugs

Butterflies, cicadas, beetles, mosquitoes, spiders, dragonflies, flies and bees live across Victoria, and Knox is no exception.

These creatures are essential to the wellbeing of our natural and agricultural communities.

Many species pollinate the flowers of plants or serve as a food source for other animals. Some recycle nutrients from decaying plant and animal matter while others aerate the soil through their burrowing activity.

Learn more about the butterflies, insects, spiders and bugs that live around us.

If bitten or stung, check the recommended steps from the Victorian Poisons CentreIf the bite is severe, you have a prior allergy or you are unsure, ring 000 for an ambulance or your local GP.

Echidna and platypus

Knox residents are lucky enough to share their home with the occasional echidna and platypus.

Echidna species and platypus are the only animals in the Monotremata order (mammals that lay eggs).


For most of the year, echidnas are solitary, but their territory is large and can overlap with other echidnas.

You can sometimes find them among rocks, in hollow logs and in holes among tree roots. In bad weather, they often burrow into the soil or shelter under bushes and tussocks of grass.

If you see an echidna (or their droppings), use the smartphone app EchidnaCSI to record it. This helps us better understand echidnas and their behaviour.

You can learn more about echidnas on the backyard buddies website.


The platypus population in Knox is small but very significant.

Their growing presence in our waterways shows the improving health of the environment where they live. Help preserve a healthy environment for platypuses by using phosphate-free detergents and reducing or eliminating your use of plastic bags.

Platypuses are most active early morning and late evening and spend most of the day in a burrow.

Should you be lucky enough to see a platypus, be sure to share the news with the platypusSPOT Facebook group.

You can learn more about the platypus on the backyard buddies website.


Melbourne is home to a variety of frogs, and Knox is no exception.

To learn more about frogs found in Melbourne and to find out more of how to make your pond attractive to frogs likely to be in the local area, visit the website.

Take a look at the frog census and find your suburb to see what frogs have been found in your area.

Unfortunately, our frog population density and species diversity is decreasing everywhere. This loss of biodiversity should be a cause of concern to all of us.

If you are keen to help support your local frogs and want to know more, visit


There are a number of small mammals that may take up residence, including antechinus, possums, bandicoots, bats and bush rats.

Possums and Gliders

Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and must not be harmed in any way. Refer to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for options on how to manage possums.

Knox City Council does not hire out cages for trapping possums for relocation.

Trapping and relocating of possums is no longer considered an effective way of dealing with unwanted roof residents. It seldom solves the problem.

If you wish to remove possums from buildings (eg. roof cavities), contact a registered/licensed pest controller to close off building and roof cavity access points.

For injured possums and other wildlife, call Wildlife Victoria on (03) 8400 7300 (24 hours a day).

Do not attempt to handle a possum that is injured with bare hands. Protect your own hands and body, wrap the possum in an old towel, over the face as well, to allow it to feel safe in the dark.


Victoria is home to 22 species of bats, which are the only flying mammals. Bats can play an important role in maintaining the health of the environment.

Tree hollows, foliage, roofs, eaves and bark provide suitable roosting sites.

If there is a shortage of such sites, bat or nest boxes can be placed under branches.
Note: even though micro bats roost naturally under loose bark, you cannot place nest boxes under loose bark.

You should not handle bats unless you are appropriately vaccinated. If you find a bat in trouble, call Wildlife Victoria on (03) 8400 7300 (24 hours a day) who will send a trained wildlife rescuer.

Antechinus, Rats and Mice

A number of small native mammals, such as the antechinus (a type of marsupial mouse), resemble feral mice and rats.

They are mostly nocturnal, hunting at night for small invertebrates like centipedes, crickets and sometimes larger animals like birds and reptiles.

Some clues in picking the differences between natives and ferals are:

  • feral rats tend to have long, thin ears, while natives have short or rounded ears
  • the tails of feral rats are longer than their bodies
  • feral mice are often seen in large numbers
  • feral mice have a well known 'mousy' smell.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to get rid of feral rats and mice. Poisons and traps will kill and injure many species, not just the ones you want to dispose of.

Remove food scraps from the gardens and destroy any nest sites you come across.

Habitat for wildlife

Much of Knox's wildlife is unique to Australia.

They need healthy habitat safe from feral species and domestic animals.

Habitat includes natural food sources, clean water and safe places for nesting and breeding.

You can learn about creating healthy habitat in your garden by joining our free Gardens for Wildlife program.

Nest Boxes

Next boxes can provide additional habitat in gardens.

Different species have different nesting requirements. These can change the size, shape and orientation of their nest boxes.

For information on what's needed in a nest box and for details on how to make and maintain nest boxes, visit the Birds in Backyards website.

Another excellent resource is the WIRES website.

Plants for habitat

The best plants for a wildlife garden are indigenous to your area.

This means the plants have been growing in the region for thousands of years. They have adapted to the area’s soil and climate.

Visiting the Knox Environment Society’s community nursery in Ferntree Gully is a great way to find out about indigenous plants.

Bushland reserves

Another good place to see our local wildlife is in a bushland reserve. Knox has over 70 wildlife reserves that support our local biodiversity and provide habitat for wildlife.

Find out more about Knox's bushland reserves.

Subscribe to Knox Biodiversity News

Our email newsletter has upcoming events, programs and opportunities in Knox for anyone interested in biodiversity.

Subscribe to Knox Biodiversity News

Need help?

Contact us and we will get back to you.

Or call our Sustainability team on 9298 8000.

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