Wild About Freo

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Birds, plants, flowers, person - wild about freo.


Record and share your observations around Freo / Walyalup.


Whether you’re an expert, nature lover or you’ve just had more time recently to stop and smell the flowers, we want you to help observe and record what’s wild about Freo! We want to know what you find in your backyard or even when out exercising locally.

We have a variety of environments, from marine on our western border through to tall tuart, jarrah and marri trees at our eastern border in Sir Frederick Samson Park, one of our two bush forever sites. We even have an international flyway overhead!

Many of our plants and animals are found nowhere else. We’re located within the wider south-west WA global biodiversity hotspot, which means the area has over 1,500 vascular plants found nowhere else on earth (endemic) but has also lost over 70% of its primary native vegetation.


Get started! Head to our dedicated Wild About Freo project page on the iNaturalist platform where you can log in or sign up to record your finds. You can also seek advice from the community and aim to move up the leader board! Stay tuned for more news and tips on supporting local biodiversity.


Have fun but please ensure you follow the current health advice in relation to COVID19. For the latest information, visit the WA Department of Health website.


Record and share your observations around Freo / Walyalup.


Whether you’re an expert, nature lover or you’ve just had more time recently to stop and smell the flowers, we want you to help observe and record what’s wild about Freo! We want to know what you find in your backyard or even when out exercising locally.

We have a variety of environments, from marine on our western border through to tall tuart, jarrah and marri trees at our eastern border in Sir Frederick Samson Park, one of our two bush forever sites. We even have an international flyway overhead!

Many of our plants and animals are found nowhere else. We’re located within the wider south-west WA global biodiversity hotspot, which means the area has over 1,500 vascular plants found nowhere else on earth (endemic) but has also lost over 70% of its primary native vegetation.


Get started! Head to our dedicated Wild About Freo project page on the iNaturalist platform where you can log in or sign up to record your finds. You can also seek advice from the community and aim to move up the leader board! Stay tuned for more news and tips on supporting local biodiversity.


Have fun but please ensure you follow the current health advice in relation to COVID19. For the latest information, visit the WA Department of Health website.

  • Things that slither

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    22 Dec 2020
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    Perth is home to at least 71 reptile species and is believed to house more reptiles than any other urban area in the world (WWF 2013).

    One of the slithery creatures you might spot in the warmer months is the bobtail or shingleback skink, Tiliqua rugosa (Yoorn in Noongar language). Between December and April the females give birth to 2-3 live young, which can be up to 40% of the mother's body weight!

    Aside from basking on our roads on warmer days, bobtails love to hide in grasses, leaf litter, paddocks and some gardens. If you want to create a more bobtail-friendly backyard, consider:

    • Having a native garden with lots of vegetation, encouraging insects (their food!)
    • Creating safe places for them to hide
    • Having wet areas for them to drink from
    • Using environmentally friendly pest-control and staying away from chemicals
  • Will they or won't they? Waiting for Fairy Terns

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    23 Nov 2020
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    Fremantle’s own Rous Head is a major breeding site for Australian Fairy Terns, a vulnerable species of small seabird.

    The birds have been seen attempting to breed in the area for many years, however a colony had never been established as their shallow sand nests make them vulnerable to human, predator and vehicle destruction. In 2013 Fremantle Ports established the Rous Head Fairy Tern Sanctuary, providing a safe, enclosed breeding site.

    Since then there have been a record six continuous nesting seasons at the Port's Rous Head Fairy Tern Sanctuary and a large increase in colony numbers, however the birds nested at other locations during the 2020 season. Researcher Claire Greenwell says that they change location to be less predictable to predators.

    Fairy Terns can arrive anywhere from late November when bait fish become available, so keep your eyes peeled to see them circling as they scout for nesting sites for 2021.

    Visit the Fremantle Ports website to find out more about the Fairy Tern Sanctuary.

    You can find out more information about the Rous Head sanctuary by clicking here or visiting the Fremantle Ports website.

  • The mysterious WA Christmas tree

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    26 Oct 2020
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    Chances are you've seen the beautiful Western Australian Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda) in flower, but you may not know how special the species really is.

    The WA Christmas tree/moojar tree has great significance to Noongar culture and people. Ken Macintyre and Barb Dobson from Anthropology from the Shed say:

    "When Noongar spokespersons were interviewed by us... the Elders reported that few people today understand the significance of the moojar tree (Nuytsia floribunda) commonly known as the Western Australian Christmas tree. They said that the moojar was regarded as “highly spiritual” because it was associated with the spirits of the dead who according to the ‘old people’ “camped” on the branches and flowers of the tree on their way to Kurannup – the land of the ancestors across the Western ocean. They said to us: ‘We don’t like to go near this tree.’"

    You can read more about this interview by clicking here or visiting the Anthropology from the Shed website.


    The WA Christmas tree is also highly unusual. It has no relatives and is the largest mistletoe in the world, and the only one that grows in the ground rather than on the stems of plants. It's also hemi-parasitic, using it's roots to extract water and nutrients from nearby plants - the roots have even been known to invade PVC-wrapped telephone cables.

    WA Christmas trees are under ongoing threat from clearing and livestock damage, and replacements are notoriously difficult to grow. By appreciating and understanding their importance we can help protect them.


    Keep an eye out for these unique plants between October and January, and make sure to upload any pictures on iNaturalist.

  • Celebrating Aussie wildlife

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    05 Oct 2020
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    From October 5-11 we're commemorating Australian Wildlife Week! Each year during the first week of October, the Australian Wildlife Society encourages people all over the country to celebrate wildlife to foster a positive relationship between nature and humanity.

    We're also celebrating a massive 200 observations on the Wild About Freo iNaturalist platform! If you haven't already, jump over to iNaturalist and take a look at some of the impressive photos we've been enjoying - spiders and skinks, mushrooms and motorbike frogs, boxfish and banksias just to name a few.

    Thank you for all your submissions, and keep them coming.

  • The East Asian-Australasian Flyway

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    Western Australia is lucky enough to be part of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway, one of nine major migratory bird flyways in the world.

    In about September each year, hundreds of thousands of migratory birds begin to arrive in WA’s north and south west. These might include species like plovers, sandpipers, stints, curlews and snipes.

    These birds make round trip migrations of up to 26,000km per year between their summer breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere and their feeding areas in the south.

    Nearby Thomson's Lake is an official site under the Flyway Site Network, and other sites in the area are an important part of the flyway. Visit the Flyway's website to find out more about the types of species you could spot: eaaflyway.net/the-flyway/

  • Do you speak Froglish?

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    Keep your eyes and ears peeled - it's breeding season and the local frogs are out and about. They might be hard to spot but luckily they're easy to hear!

    If you've ever wanted to find out which species are in your backyard or local wetland, the WA Museum is here to help you learn to speak Froglish. Click here to go to their Frogwatch website where you can listen to some common frog calls, and then match them up with what you've heard on your walks.

    In the Fremantle area, listen especially for the Moaning Frog, Motorbike Frog and Western Banjo Frog. Ribbit!

  • Observe and keep it beautiful

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    18 Aug 2020
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    Consider collecting more than photos on your observation walks this August - from August 17-23 it's Keep Australia Beautiful Week!

    This year’s theme is “Litter: Prevent the Spread”.

    The campaign is inspired by the unprecedented circumstances triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting lockdowns and restrictions across the country, and the public’s increased use of single-use items to prevent the spread of the virus. Keep Australia Beautiful is calling on all Australians this year not only to stay safe, but also to help prevent the spread of litter in our beautiful country.

    Find out more about how you can stop the spread at the Keep Australia Beautiful Website by clicking here or visiting kab.org.au

  • Local planting for National Tree Day

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    31 Jul 2020
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    National Tree Day started in 1996 and has grown into Australia's largest community tree-planting and nature care event, this year landing on Sunday 2 August.

    The City is pleased to be working with the Friends of Samson Park group to help revegetate Sir Frederick Samson Park, the City's largest bush forever reserve!

    Grab your gardening gloves and join us for the Samson Park Community Planting Day from 10am on August 2 with help from SERCUL.

    Meet at the noticeboards on Sellinger Ave or go directly to the planting site, off McCombe St opposite the Samson Rec Centre. All ages are welcome!

    Please wear closed-in shoes. BYO water bottle, gardening gloves and a trowel (if you have one). Hot drinks and morning tea provided. For more information, visit facebook.com/events/657706534820421/

  • Greening Fremantle

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    07 Jul 2020
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    Did you know the City has a series of green links? Do you live on one? If so, we’d love to know what biodiversity you have in your backyard.

    A key initiative in the Greening Fremantle Strategy is to “Develop links that increase the amount of flora/vegetation and increase habitats for native fauna and encourage their movement between green spaces and to increase and improve biodiversity areas.”

    To find out if you live on a green link, check out the Green Links Map here or find it in Handy Documents.

  • Nature's pest control

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    25 Jun 2020
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    When we think of bats, we might think of the cave-dwelling, blood-sucking creepy critters from vampire movies. But bats are more common (and a lot cuter!) than you'd think! Australia has more than 90 species of bat and 70% of these are microbats.

    Most microbats eat insects, and some people call them 'nature's pest control' because of their voracious appetites. They can eat 40% of their own body weight in a night - that's several hundred insects per hour!

    These types of microbats make their way through the dark using echolocation, listening to the echoes from their high-pitched calls (which are usually too high for the human ear to detect).

    In Perth you can look out for the Lesser Long-eared Bat, White-striped Free-tailed Bats, Southern Forest Bays and Gould's Wattled Bats.

    Image: Lesser Long-Eared Bat by Pavel German, used with permission