Native flora and fauna


Nillumbik is a semi-rural environment and 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 include:

  • Grassy Dry Forest
  • Valley Grassy Forest
  • Heathy Dry Forest
  • 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.    

Help improve your local environment

  • You can join an environmental group and improve your local environment. Visit environmental groups to see those 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.

App to help identify plants and weeds 'Flora Explorer'

Flora Explorer phone app (available from the App Storewas developed by the Shire of Yarra Ranges to assist in plant and weed identification and to record your sightings of plants.

Flora Explorer app features include:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of 968 plants 
  • Descriptions of plant identifiers such as leaf shape, flowers and flowering time
  • Reviews 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

Record your flora and fauna sightings

Nillumbik has a number of threatened flora and fauna which contribute significantly to our biodiversity.

Your wildlife sightings help us to better understand where our native plants and animals are now and how this changes overtime. VBA Go is a new website that links directly to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, for community members to record and share sightings of Victoria's native species.

Programs to assist you protect/enhance your property's biodiversity

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

What Council does to enhance/protect biodiversity

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 the occasional visit by threatened migratory birds such as the Lewin's Rail, Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater. 

Find out more about threatened fauna species below, 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. This includes

  • 83 species listed as rare or threatened in Victoria and
  • seven 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
  • 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 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, from the 'Live Local Plant Local' publication or by taking part in one of our environmental activities.

Threatened flora species


Changes to the legal requirements for the control of the Common Wombat

The Victorian Government recently revoked the legal instrument that allowed for the lethal control of wombats without a permit in a number of areas in eastern Victoria, including Nillumbik.

These changes provide additional protection to wombats across eastern Victoria where landholders must now apply for an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) under the Wildlife Act 1975 (Wildlife Act) to control wombats, as other landholders in Victoria are already required to do.

Further information about the changes can be found in this fact sheet.


More information

Contact Nillumbik Shire Council Sustainability and Environment 9433 3111.

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