Wildlife of the Peninsula
Wildlife is a common sight on the Peninsula, seals occasionally visit our beaches and our diverse natural environments provide a range of habitats for wildlife, with over 400 species of native animals having been recorded here.
Our beaches our a popular year round, you can learn more about seals on beaches and marine wildlife here.
Our native wildlife species on the peninsula includes:
- 293 species of birds – including tiny Hooded Plovers that nest on the ocean beaches of Rye to the impressively large Powerful Owl that hunts through forested areas, our bird fauna is the most diverse group of animals on the peninsula.
- 34 mammals – including the easily recognisable Echidnas, Koalas and Swamp Wallabies, lesser known ground dwelling mammals like the White-footed Dunnart, Southern Brown Bandicoot and Swamp Rat, and nine species of microbats.
- 31 fish – including two endangered species - the Dwarf Galaxis, a tiny freshwater fish which is recognised by its striking iridescent stripes, and the Flatback Mangrovegoby, a locally abundant species associated with estuarine waters amongst saltmarsh and mangroves.
- 25 reptiles – from the better known species like Blue-tongue Lizard and Eastern Brown Snake, to more cryptic animals like the Jacky Lizard and threatened Swamp Skink.
- 11 frogs – including the nationally endangered Growling Grass Frog and more common and widespread species like the Spotted Marsh Frog and Southern Brown Tree Frog.
To learn more about the peninsula's diverse wildlife, download our Fauna of the Mornington Peninsula(PDF, 1MB) guide which includes photos and descriptions of over 70 native animals that call the peninsula home.
Microbats - nature's exterminators
A natural way to control insects – including mosquitos – around your property is to encourage microbats to live in your garden. Microbats are the smallest flying mammals in the world and have an incredible appetite for mosquitos and other insects. Weighing as little as 3 grams, they can consume at least half their body weight in insects per night.
Fun facts about microbats
- There are nine species of native microbats found on the Mornington Peninsula.
- They can be found in all environment types, including urban areas.
- Microbats can be seen flying around at dusk.
- Microbats roost in old tree hollows and under bark.
- They use eco location to navigate when flying and to detect their prey.
- They hibernate in groups in the cooler months of the year.
- Large old trees are an important resource, providing both food and roosting opportunities.
The Shire have been installing microbat boxes in our bushland reserves and working with La Trobe Uni on research into creating hollows in trees to provide more roosting opportunities for microbats.
Interested in providing a roosting space for microbats on you property? Boxes can be purchased from the Point Nepean Men's Shed, visit the Point Nepean Men's Shed shop for more information. To learn more about microbats or to find resources on how to build your own box, visit the Australasian Bat Society website.
What to do if you find injured wildlife
Mornington Peninsula injured wildlife rescue emergency contacts can be found on the Community Directory.
You can also check out Wildlife Victoria - 24hr Hotline 13 000 94535 or 13000Wildlife.
The State Government also have a handy Help for Injured Wildlife Tool to help you find and contact the closest relevant wildlife carers and rehabilitation organisations to help the injured wildlife.