Native flora and fauna

Nillumbik is a semi-rural environment which is home to a beautiful range of indigenous flora, fauna and habitats. Areas of remnant vegetation are somewhat representative to those prior to European settlement. A large proportion of Nillumbik is covered with remnant indigenous vegetation in a range of types, condition and varying conservation status. The main types of vegetation found are Grassy Dry Forest, Valley Grassy Forest, Heathy Dry Forest, and Herb-rich Foothill Forest.

Much of the remnant bushland, indigenous flora and fauna that exists is threatened by various processes including: residential development, habitat destruction, environmental weeds, pest animals and climate change. The preservation and protection of remnant bushland is imperative for conservation of endangered local flora and fauna and our indigenous heritage.

Our indigenous flora and fauna are protected under state legislation, in particular the Wildlife Act 1975, Planning and Environmental Act 1987 and Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act), and federally under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.    

How you can help

You can help improve your local environment by joining an environmental group. Find out more about the environmental groups that operate within Nillumbik.  

Fill your garden with plants that are indigenous to your area. This helps provide habitat for wildlife, increases biodiversity and enhances remnant vegetation in urban and rural areas. For information see:

  • Live Local Plant Local – Nillumbik’s guide to indigenous plants in the Shire.
  • Attend one of our environmental activities, to learn more about our environment.

Flora Explorer

Flora Explorer is a phone application developed by the Shire of Yarra Ranges that will assist in plant and weed identification. It also allows the recording of sightings. For Android users, the app is available on Google Play. For users of iPhones, the app is available on the Apple App Store.


  • 968 featured plants with detailed descriptions and photos
  • Descriptions of plant identifiers such as leaf shape, flowers and flowering time
  • Review of plant growing conditions, garden use, conservation status and aboriginal use
  • Search for a specific plant or for a plant list for a property
  • Find out which plants are best to plant if you want to attract wildlife to your garden
  • Info about Melbourne Water programs to support property owners protect waterways
  • Build a landscaping list for your native garden
  • Identify common weeds and learn how to treat and replace them
  • Submit a photo query for assistance with plant identification
  • Add a record for a rare plant to the local council botanical records
  • Great for Landcare members
  • Many functions work offline
  • Available for Android and iPhone

Your flora and fauna sightings

Nillumbik has a number of threatened flora and fauna which contribute significantly to our biodiversity. The Shire has been extensively surveyed over a 30 year period which is reflected in a variety of sources and databases. However, much of this data is now 20 years old and it is necessary to update and record current information to guide the management of these species.

We acknowledge that flora and fauna surveying is actively undertaken in the Shire, but this information is not always entered into the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's Victorian Biodiversity Atlas database, and this information is rarely accessible. In an effort to collate all flora and fauna sighting records in the one place, we are updating our flora and fauna database. We are calling upon your assistance in providing us with your recent flora and fauna sightings including indigenous and/or exotic species and threatened flora and fauna records and sightings.

Please complete the form to record your sightings:

Type the characters you see in the image below * (Required)

How can you help?

We run a number of programs to assist residents in addressing land degradation, improve their properties and protect/enhance biodiversity.

What are we doing?

Protection of remnant trees and vegetation is a Council priority. Council is responsible for the management of 99 environmentally significant, bushland reserves and wetlands covering an area of 495 hectares. These areas are important for:

  • biodiversity (plants, animals and micro-organisms)
  • habitat corridors between national parks, state forest and larger reserves
  • remnants of once widespread vegetation
  • seed bank for revegetation 
  • habitat for wildlife and significant plants.

Indigenous fauna

Nillumbik supports a high diversity of fauna species which occupy various habitats. Approximately 377 indigenous fauna species have been recorded within the Shire. Nillumbik’s fauna ranges from the more common species that may be seen around residential areas such as the Brush-tailed Possum and Rainbow Lorikeet to the rarely seen inhabitants of the forest such as the Common Dunnart, Lace Monitor and Brush-tailed Phascogale.

Nillumbik supports a high proportion of threatened fauna species, with approximately 72 species listed as threatened in Victoria and 12 listed as threatened in Australia. This includes an important population of Brush-tailed Phascogale as well as some of the only populations of Eltham Copper Butterfly. The Shire supports resident populations of several threatened bird species such as Powerful Owl and Barking Owl and is also occasionally visited by threatened migratory birds such as the Lewin's Rail, Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater. 

You can find out more about threatened fauna species below, view the Native Fauna Booklet or take part in one of our environmental activities.

Threatened fauna species

Indigenous flora

A wide range of flora species can be found in Nillumbik from large, long-lived trees such as Yellow Box Eucalyptus melliodora to tiny, delicate, short-lived herbs such as Slender Stylewort Levenhookia sonderi. Nillumbik is known for its diverse orchid population with approximately 143 different orchid species recorded.  Approximately 1325 indigenous flora species have been recorded within Nillumbik.The distribution of these plants is determined by environmental factors such as soil type, rainfall, hydrology and topography.

Indigenous flora is essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem and provides important habitat for our fauna. However, a number of the plants found in Nillumbik are now rare or threatened including 83 species listed as rare or threatened in Victoria and 7 species listed as endangered or vulnerable in Australia under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Rosella Spider-orchid, once scattered throughout southern and central Victoria and the Charming Spider Orchid are now only known from within the Shire, while the majority of the known populations of the Wine-lip Spider-Orchid are restricted to the region. The Shire also supports several populations of the Victorian endemic Round-leaf Pomaderris, a species which is only known from a small number of populations in the ranges to the north and east.

You can find out more about threatened flora species below or find out more in the Live Local Plant Local publication or take part in one of our environmental activities.

Threatened flora species

More information

Contact Nillumbik Shire Council Sustainability and Environment 9433 3316.

See the Nillumbik Landcare Network website for more information on Landcare groups, grants and funding, weeds, mapping and monitoring, orchids of Nillumbik and flora and fauna management.