Australian Wildlife Safety: Tips for Families Moving to Rural Areas

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Australia is renowned for its unique and diverse wildlife, and moving to rural areas can provide families with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity that the country has to offer. However, it's important for families to be aware of potential wildlife encounters and to take measures to ensure the safety of both humans and animals.

Educate yourself and your family

Before moving, take the time to educate yourself and your family about the local wildlife. Familiarize yourselves with the types of animals that may be present in the area, their habits, and any potential risks associated with encounters. Understanding the wildlife enhances awareness and helps in making informed decisions.

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Secure waste and food

Wildlife, especially in rural areas, may be attracted to food sources around homes. To mitigate the risk of unwanted wildlife encounters, secure rubbish bins and avoid leaving food scraps or pet food outside. This simple measure can help prevent animals from becoming accustomed to human-provided food, reducing the likelihood of close interactions.

Be cautious with water sources

Water sources, such as ponds or swimming pools, can attract wildlife, especially in drier regions. Install secure fencing around swimming pools to prevent animals from falling in accidentally. If possible, avoid leaving out containers of water that may attract animals, and regularly check water sources for any signs of wildlife.

Understand snake safety

Australia is home to various snake species, some of which may be found in rural areas. Teach your family members about snake safety, including the importance of staying calm and still if a snake is encountered. Keep grass and vegetation around the home well-maintained to reduce hiding spots for snakes.

Secure outdoor areas

If you have outdoor play areas or gardens, consider securing them with fencing to minimize the risk of unexpected wildlife interactions. This is particularly important if you have small children who may not be aware of the potential dangers associated with wildlife encounters.

Check for wildlife before outdoor activities

Before engaging in outdoor activities, especially in the early morning or evening when wildlife is more active, check the area for any signs of animals. This is particularly important if your family enjoys activities like bushwalking, camping, or picnics in rural settings.

Ensure pets are secure

Pets can sometimes come into contact with wildlife, posing risks for both the animals and your pets. Ensure that your pets are securely confined, especially during the evening when many wildlife species are active. Additionally, consider using deterrents or protective measures to minimize the risk of confrontations.

Know emergency numbers

Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers and contacts for wildlife rescue organizations. In case of an injured or distressed animal, it's essential to have the appropriate contacts readily available to ensure swift and effective assistance.

Seek professional advice

If you have concerns or uncertainties about specific wildlife species in your new rural area, seek advice from local authorities or wildlife experts. They can provide valuable information about local fauna, including any precautions or actions that may be necessary for coexisting safely.

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