Protecting plants and animals

Read our guide to encouraging biodiversity in your garden and find out about projects to protect our wildlife.

The City of Port Phillip's landscape was once dominated by indigenous plants and animals and is now replaced by urban development.

Council is always looking for opportunities to enhance and protect the vegetation and animals that call our City home, and we have a number of strategies to support this. But the majority of land in the City is in private ownership.

This means we need your help to support biodiversity in our city.

How to encourage biodiversity in your garden

Discover native species and create a habitat garden in your backyard, balcony or school with our Grow Wild guide (PDF 3.9MB).

The EcoCentre team reveal some surprises in the following videos that may make you see and appreciate the wildlife around you in new ways.

Ben from the Port Phillip EcoCentre explains how to find a dinosaur in your backyard or local park.

Neil from the Port Phillip EcoCentre explains why Coast Banksias are an important species

The Port Phillip EcoCentre has many great videos on bird watching, creating habitats, and ways to look after our local environment.

Indigenous plant use booklet

You'll find information on more than 50 indigenous plant species and explore their cultural, nutritional, technological and medicinal use in the Indigenous Plant Use booklet (PDF 13.3 MB).

The booklet was created by Barkandji woman Zena Cumpston and contains plant labels that you can print and use in your own garden.

NatureSpot citizen science project

In order to protect what we have, we need to know the plants and animals are already living in our City. So we asked community members to record the plants and animals they saw in their neighbourhoods as part of our citizen science project NatureSpot.

The data collected will help us to create wildlife corridors so that animals can move around safely, have the right things to eat, and the right types of shelter.

Results from NatureSpot

A total of 692 sightings (spots) were submitted during the data submission period, 7 November 2019 to 16 April 2020.

Spots submitted were 72 per cent fauna and 28 per cent flora. The digital platform engaged with a total of 644 people, 172 active contributors and an additional 472 users who visited the website to view data on the map.

The project verified 21 species never previously recorded in Port Phillip.

The community reported that NatureSpot increased their awareness of local biodiversity and allowed them to more closely observe smaller flora and fauna, and species interactions. Some early learning centres utilised the website as an education resource, bringing students out for surveys at nearby parks. School students also took up the survey as a remote learning exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more in the NatureSpot final report (PDF 2.4 MB).

Biodiversity study

Along with the data collected through NatureSpot, consultants have been conducting vegetation surveys, fauna surveys and even had microphones out and about listening in for Microbats. We've also been working with the Boon Wurrung Foundation, Port Phillip EcoCentre, a community reference group and staff across Council to discuss how we can better design, maintain and manage public spaces, and work with the community.

Read the biodiversity study results for 2020: