Flora and fauna

The Fauna of the City of Canada Bay

During Spring 2013 and Autumn 2014, an Ecological Consultant was engaged to work closely with Bushcare staff, volunteers and community members (including schools) with important local knowledge and experience to revisit key fauna sites sampled during Council’s Fauna Survey (2003). The survey was undertaken at 35 sites across the City of Canada Bay. These included; Council bushland reserves, two NSW Health properties, seven local schools, three golf courses, river foreshore, street verges and home garden vegetation. The aim was to record all fauna species present at these sites with a particular focus on daytime active birds. The report has assisted Council and the community to protect and manage biodiversity within the City of Canada Bay LGA and is downloadable below. 

The Fauna of City of Canada Bay Local Government Area: 2013-2014 

Our Living Catchment Fauna and Habitat Report 

This report was officially launched at the opening of the inaugural Parramatta River Source to Sea. This project involved a landmark study of fauna richness across the whole Parramatta River catchment. It aims are to expand, restore and manage the extent of native habitats in the fragmented landscapes of the Parramatta River catchment. It was assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust. 

For more information please see the Our Living River website. 

Backyards for Biodiversity

To help enhance local wildlife, City of Canada Bay launched the Backyards for Biodiversity program to support our community in creating habitat stepping stones, or an area of refuge, in residential and school gardens. By participating in the program and getting involved in wildlife gardening, you can help our community to foster local nature. The program includes:

  • a native planting guide to help you create a habitat garden,
  • native gardening workshops,
  • access to regular plant giveaways, and
  • how to provide nest boxes and animal houses as an alternative shelter for native animals that may try to settle in the roofs of houses and other buildings, or under them. 

Protecting native wildlife

Native birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals are protected in New South Wales under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. It is an offence to disturb, trap, harm, kill or remove native animals unless you hold a licence. If you see an injured or sick native animal, Council recommends that you contact WIRES as soon as possible by calling 1300 094 737. The trained responders at WIRES can guide you on how to manage the wildlife injury.

For more information about living with native animals, visit NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Help keep our wildlife wild and safe by not feeding them. Many people enjoy feeding birds and animals but this may result in future problems for animals and the community. Here are some reasons why you should not be feeding wildlife:

  • Animals that expect to be fed by people can become aggressive, as they may harass people for food when they are hungry or end up becoming scavengers, losing their ability to forage for natural foods suited for their diet.
  • Human food like processed seeds, bread and other foods are not safe for animals as they are not part of the animal's natural diet and could make them very sick.
  • Feeding wildlife can spread diseases. Feeding can lead to large groups of animals to congregate so it’s very easy to spread disease and parasites between them.

Feral animals  ​​

The City of Canada Bay supports a surprisingly diverse array of native wildlife, considering the limited amount of native remnant habitat that exists in the area. Introduced species such as the European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and stray domestic cats are known to prey on native lizards, birds, marsupials and mammals. Managing the impacts of these feral species is a challenge in our urban environment; however Council is committed to addressing the issue through community education. 

To find out what you can do at home to reduce fox numbers in your area, please download our urban Feral Fox Brochure


The City of Canada Bay is working with 15 other Sydney Councils to manage the impact of foxes. A regional and coordinated approach has been being developed to manage this declared pest. The project studies the behaviour of urban foxes, engages local communities and maps the distribution of foxes in Southern Sydney, enabling fox control to be undertaken at strategic locations.  

To help us reduce the impacts of foxes, please visit the FoxScan website and record your sightings.  


The Flora within the City of Canada Bay is highly diverse with a total of 159 native plant species located across the City area.

The City of Canada Bay has developed a Flora Inventory of local native plant diversity with the intent that his inventory will be used in Plans of Management of open spaces and to develop polices and innovative mechanisms to ensure and promote biodiversity conservation within the City.

Council is able to provide information about local native plants, bushland vegetation communities and weeds, see below:

Native Plants within the City of Canada Bay

The following is a list of native plants in the City of Canada Bay area that are suitable for planting in your garden. 

If you would like more information on native plants suitable to plant in your local area, please contact Council’s Bushcare Coordinator on 9911 6555 or bushcare@canadabay.nsw.gov.au or download the Backyards for Biodiversity Guide.

Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest

Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest is the most common vegetation type in the City of Canada Bay. It exists on the fertile, deep, Wianamatta Shale derived clay soils of Concord, Concord West, North Strathfield, Canada Bay and parts of Five Dock.

The widespread loss of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest throughout the Sydney Basin has resulted in its listing under Division 5 of Part 2 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 as an Endangered Ecological Community.

Further recognition of the vegetation community’s conservation value is provided by the Federal Government, which has listed Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest as Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999). The City of Canada Bay is actively working to ensure the protection and recovery of this community within the Local Government Area.

Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest

This vegetation community is associated with the areas usually occurring on salty floodplain areas and is characterised by the following:

  • Tree species – Swamp She Oak (Casurina glauca) and Paperbarks (Melaleuca spp.)
  • Groundcover plant species – Centella (Centella asiatica), Scurvy Weed (Commelina cyanea), Spotted Knotweed (Persicaria decipiens), Tall Sedge (Carex appressa), Saw Sedge (Gahnia clarkei), Mat Rush (Lomandra longifolia), Basket Grass (Oplismenus imbecillis), and Harsh Ground Fern (Hypolepis muelleri).

The widespread loss of Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest throughout the Sydney Basin has resulted in its listing under Division 5 of Part 2 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 as an Endangered Ecological Community.

Coastal Saltmarsh

The City of Canada Bay is one of the few Council areas in Sydney where Coastal Saltmarsh vegetation communities still survive. This assemblage of salt tolerant species grows in the inter-tidal zone, usually behind a band of protective mangroves. Coastal Saltmarsh is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

This vegetation community occurs in the intertidal zone on the shores of estuaries and lagoons. In the City of Canada Bay it is frequently found on the landward side of mangrove stands. Saltmarsh in the City of Canada Bay is characterised by Sea Rush (Juncus kraussii), Samphire (Sarcocornia quinqueflora), Salt Couch (Sporobolus virginicus), (Ficinia nodosa), Austral Seablite (Suaeda australis) and Coast Couch (Zoysia macrantha).

Coastal sandstone vegetation

While more common in the north-east and south-east of the in the Sydney Basin, sandstone woodland and coastal heaths are considered to be locally significant in the City of Canada Bay, due to their originally restricted distribution on the headlands and peninsulas fronting the Parramatta River.

Today, there remains small fragments of these precious vegetation communities, situated mainly around the Iron Cove foreshore and in tiny pockets through Chiswick, Abbotsford and Cabarita.

Vulnerable plant species

Narrow-leaf Wilsonia (Wilsonia backhousii), is a saltmarsh herb that is only known to occur in two locations in the Sydney Basin, one of which is in the City of Canada Bay. Wilsonia is a perennial mat forming herb with white flowers.

Wilsonia is 'vulnerable' due to a decline in available habitat, its inability to recover quickly from damage and changes in salinity regimes. Wilsonia has been listed as vulnerable under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.