Posted on 05/12/2021 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Living with Wildlife - Summer edition
Summer is here, and we are excited to welcome everyone back to our beautiful island home.
Millowl (Phillip Island) is lucky to be home to a variety of beaches, wetlands and bushlands.
This year we want to encourage everyone to enjoy our island, and to remember that our beautiful beaches and reserves are for everyone to share and enjoy together, including our very special local wildlife. Whilst we may all enjoy our visits to the beach and shorelines, many important species of wildlife call these places home.
Look out for our signage at the entry to your local beach or reserve. These signs tell you how to share our shores, protect our wildlife and enjoy your visit.
Sick and injured wildlife
As animals are out and about in the warmer weather and there is also more traffic, please drive carefully and watch for wildlife.
Phillip Island Nature Parks runs a Wildlife Clinic for sick and injured wildlife across Phillip Island, however it is not equipped to house or rehabilitate seals. Trained staff are on call from 7:30am to 4pm daily to attend wildlife rescue calls. Outside of those hours, wildlife emergencies are managed by Wildlife Victoria - the largest rescue network in the state.
- Nature Parks Wildlife Clinic 03 5951 2800
- Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300 or log a case at wildllifevictoria.org.au
During the summer months shorebirds are continuing to breed and are working very hard to raise and protect their eggs and chicks. Short tailed Shearwaters are caring for their one chick in their sand dune burrows which are easily collapsed if walked on. Hooded Plovers continue to nest on beaches and may abandon their nest if people or dogs come close to them leaving chicks vulnerable to predators or starvation so please:
- Keep to paths at all times.
- Read and observe all signage including temporary notices on the beaches and walk close to the water’s edge where possible.
- Download or view the ‘Where Can I Walk My Dog brochure
Australia’s largest breeding Australian Fur Seal colony is just offshore at Seal Rocks. Summer is the breeding season when new pups are born and yearlings have to fend for themselves - so you may see young seals resting on our beaches – this is quite normal. Some adults may also be washed up alive or dead over this period. If you see a seal on the beach:
- Leave it alone and maintain at least 30 metres to allow the seal to rest.
- Keep your dog on a lead and at least 50 metres away from the seal to avoid frightening or injuring it.
- Do not feed the seal as it may become used to humans and unable to fend for itself in the wild.
- Do not attempt to move the seal back into the water or throw water over it – they can self-regulate their own body temperature.
Fishing hooks, line, nets and other rubbish all cause death and injury to marine and terrestrial wildlife, so please dispose of rubbish responsibly
- Collect any rubbish you find and dispose of in the correct bin.
- Report any rubbish dumping to Bass Coast Shire Council on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or 03 5671 2211
- Report injured or entangled seals to Phillip Island Nature Parks on 03 5951 2800.
Remember a little care keeps our wildlife safe. Have a happy and safe summer, see you at the beach!