If we asked you to name some native Australian animals, we’d happily bet a fiver that a wombat, platypus or kangaroo would be one of your top three. But if we asked you what animals call Sydney home – would you know where to start? Not many people can.
Sydney actually has 70 bird species, 13 mammals, 11 reptile species and five frog species. But although we have a lot of fauna calling Sydney their home, we also have a number of priority animals. Priority species are at risk of becoming extinct within our area. The City has created an Urban Ecology Action Plan to stop that happening, but we think they deserve some time in the spotlight and so we’ve arranged a little introduction.
Drum roll please…
Green and golden bell frog
This little guy is 85mm long, bright emerald green and loves a bit of sunbaking. It’s one of the few frogs that are active during the day.
Can be found: in or close to water – ponds, shallow freshwater and grassy areas
Loves to eat: insects and worms
If it was a TV character: Kermit the frog, The Muppets
Grey-headed flying fox
The grey-headed flying fox is the largest bat in Australia. It can live up to 22 years, and always groups with other grey-headed flying foxes in colonies of hundreds to tens of thousands.
Loves to eat: nectar, pollen and native fruits
If it was a TV character: Joey Tribianni, Friends – always hungry and works well in a group
The powerful owl has large yellow eyes and dull yellow feet. You won’t spot it unless you look up – it hangs out on the tree tops in forests, gullies, parks and gardens.
Loves to eat: animals in trees like possums and birds
If it was a TV character: Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones – powerful, a little bit ruthless and the owner of one heck of an intense stare.
At dusk, various species of micro-bats can be observed flying over or around eucalypt canopies or along the edges or tracks of bushland areas. These small bats display a rapid, jerky almost haphazard flight while foraging for flying insects from dusk throughout the night. Fur colour is variable and may range from light brown to reddish brown, grey or black.
Loves to eat: insects, lizards, birds, and fish
If it was a TV character: Bill Compton, True Blood – looks evil but really just a softie.
The long-nosed bandicoot is about the size of a rabbit, has pointed ears, a short tail, grey-brown fur and, of course, a long nose. It’s solitary and sometimes mistaken for a rat, but is about 100 per cent cuter.
Loves to eat: insects
If it was a TV character: Carrie Mathison, Homeland. Misunderstood, a loner and a little quirky.