Living with Wildlife

Native animals and birds play an important role in our region's biodiversity and it is an offence to harm them. They help to control pest insects and spread native vegetation.

Find out below how to live with nuisance wildlife:

Snakes

Snakes are native to the region so be aware and try to discourage them from living near your home.

Residents must be aware of the potential danger of snakes, particularly in the warmer months. Snakes are most active in warm weather and are often are found in bushy areas. To discourage snakes from entering your property, ensure your garden is well maintained, clear of rubbish, and keep your grass short.

What do I do if I see a snake?

  • do not approach it, attempt to kill it or try to capture it.
  • keep your distance, stay calm and advise others that there is a snake close by and to be aware
  • if the snake poses a risk to a person(s) safety or is aggressive, you should contact the following for assistance;
    a. Wires (1300 131 554)
    b. A qualified snake catcher (We recommend Scott Grube 0409 364 022)
    c. 000 and ask for Fire Brigade (Fire and Rescue teams have trained personnel to handle and remove snakes

    * Tamworth Regional Council staff are not trained or authorised to handle or dispose of snakes

What if myself or someone else thinks they have been bitten by a snake?

1. Call 000 for an ambulance
2. Do not wash the venom off skin or clothing –this may be used to identify the type of snake
3. Stay clam and lie down
4. A first aider should apply a pressure bandage firmly from the fingers (if bitten on arm) or toes (if on leg) upwards along the limb
5. Immobilise the limb with a splint
6. Write down the time of the bite and when the bandage was applied
7. Mark the location of the bite on the skin with a pen or take a photograph of the site
8. First aider should always stay with the person until the ambulance arrives

Click here for more information from St John Ambulance on Snake Bites (PDF 203.8KB)

All native snakes in NSW are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.


More information about native snakes can be obtained on the NSW Planning, Industry and Environment website.

A list of reptile handlers for the area can be found here.

Swooping Magpies

Magpies are protected throughout NSW under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. This makes it against the law to kill the birds, collect their eggs, or harm their young.

Tamworth Regional Council has no powers to authorise or carry out the destruction of magpies and cannot discharge a firearm in the town limits.

Magpies generally only swoop for a few weeks each year when people enter the territory where they are nesting.

They swoop because they are fiercely protective of their nest and young – with any perceived threat causing some male magpies to become aggressive.

While it can be very frightening, these magpies are usually just giving us a warning and generally only defend within 100 metres of their nest site.

The best thing to do during this time of year is to simply avoid areas where magpies are known to be nesting.

For the rest of the year, outside of the breeding season, magpies are friendly and generally welcome neighbours.

They help control pests in our gardens and their familiar, iconic call is part of the Australian bush.

There are a few simple steps people should take to avoid swooping magpies:

  • Try to avoid the area.
    Do not go back after being swooped. Australian magpies are very intelligent and have a great memory. They will target the same people if you persist on entering their nesting area. Make a sign to warn other people about the swooping magpie.
  • Be aware of where the bird is.
    Most will usually swoop from behind. They are much less likely to target you if they think they are being watched. Try drawing eyes on the back of a helmet or hat. You can also hold a long stick in the air to deter swooping.
  • Keep calm and do not panic.
    Walk away quickly but do not run. If you are really concerned, place your folded arms above your head to protect your head and eyes.
  • If you are on your bicycle or horse, dismount.
    The noise and motion of a bicycle’s wheel can irritate the birds. Calmly walk your bike or horse out of the nesting territory. Your bicycle helmet will protect your head, and you can attach, pipe cleaners or straws to your helmet or a tall red safety flag to your bicycle as a deterrent.
  • Never harass or provoke nesting birds.
    A harassed bird will distrust you and as they have a great memory this will ultimately make you a bigger target in future. Do not throw anything at a bird or nest, and never climb a tree and try to remove eggs or chicks.
  • Teach children what to do.
    Educating kids about the birds and what they can do to avoid being swooped will help them keep calm if they are targeted. Its important children learn to protect their face.

*Source: NSW Department, Industry and Environment website

Bush Ticks

Bush Ticks are native to our region especially in bush settings such as the Tamworth Marsupial Park.

Tamworth Regional Council staff continue to treat high traffic areas in our region however ticks will still always be present in some capacity.

Below is information to know when visiting bush settings that may have ticks present.

How to reduce the likelihood of tick bites?

  • wear appropriate clothing such as a long sleeved shirt, long pants tucked into socks, light coloured clothing to make it easier to see ticks on clothes before they attach to the skin
  • before entering possible tick infected environments apply an insect repellent containing diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) or picaridin to the skin. The repellent should be applied and re-applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Clothing treated with permethrin is also recommended. Permethrin wash kits for treating clothes can be obtained from outdoor recreational stores and it is important to follow the label directions. Permethrin-treated clothing is considered the most effective means of preventing tick bite in tick infested areas.
  • all clothing should be removed after visiting tick infested areas and placed into a hot dryer for 20 minutes to kill any tick that could be still on the clothing. The entire body should be then checked for ticks of all sizes and stages, paying particular attention to areas behind the ears and the back of the head or neck, especially on children.

    On return from a known tick area:

    Search the body for ticks especially behind ears, on back of the head and neck, groin, armpits and back of knees
    Be careful where clothes are placed as they may introduce ticks into the house
    Ticks in clothing can be killed by placing clothes in the dryer for at least ten minutes on the hot cycle
    Don’t forget to check children

How do I remove a tick?

If you suffer from allergic reactions to ticks, only attempt to remove a tick whilst at a medical facility such as an Emergency Department.

In non-allergic individuals or for larval or nymphal stage ticks:

  • When removing a tick with fine tipped forceps (not household tweezers unless fine tipped forceps are not available), grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upwards with steady pressure and avoid jerking or twisting the tick.
  • Prior to removal, the tick may be sprayed with an aerosol insect repellent containing pyrethrin or a pyrethroid chemical, although there is currently no evidence to suggest that this is of benefit. Permethrin based creams, which are available from chemists may also be used. Apply at least twice with a one minute interval between applications.
  • If you have difficulty removing the tick or suffer any symptoms after removal, seek medical attention urgently.

Source: Department of Health website

Flying Foxes

Flying-foxes are nomadic mammals that fly across eastern and northern Australia.

The two species seen in the Tamworth Region in fluctuating numbers are the grey-headed flying-fox and the little-red flying-fox. The little-red are the most widespread species in Australia.

Click here to find out more information on living with flying foxes in the Tamworth region