Fauna inhabiting Manning Park and Adjacent Bushland.
By Diana Rose
As a local resident living close to Manning Park and adjacent bushland, and having walked in this area for over 20 years, I have had the privilege of observing the obvious and bountiful fauna thriving within this remnant urban bushland. Many species I have not seen (numerous invertebrates, frogs and bats i.e.), so these are not included and from my observations over the years.
Birds in Bushland of Manning Park and surrounds.
Insectivores, seed - eaters and pollinators:
Rainbow Bee-Eater (Merops ornatus) –
Migratory . Makes nest in burrow in soft sand and amongst limestone areas. Breeds from approximately October to March/April. Declining Species. Many burrows have been observed in past two years on unsanctioned mountain bike tracks, which has meant the burrows are destroyed.
Painted Button Quail (Tunix varia)– CS3 (LS)
Ground nesting in tussock grass and leaf litter. Eats seeds and insects. Rare in Coastal areas.
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)-
Feeds on ground on mostly native seeds. Uncommon in this area.
Yellow-Rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) – CS3 (LS)
Once commonly seen in bushland of Manning Park, now rarely seen. Feeds on ground on mostly insects and sometimes seeds. Declining Species.
Splendid Fairy Wren (Malurus splendens) – CS3 (LS)
Prefers low undergrowth of coastal heath and woodlands as habitat. Breeds Sept. to Jan. Nests in low shrubs. Feeds in family groups or colonies, mainly insectivores, supplemented with seeds, & flowers. Forages on ground & in low foliage Declining in suburban bushland.
Rufous Whistler ( Pachycephala rufiventris) – CS3 (LS)
Woodlands and remnant bushland habitat. Insectivores, sometimes eats seeds. Declining Species.
Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca)–
Eucalypt Woodlands and bushland. Declining Species.
White –browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis maculatus) – CS3(LS)
Feeds mostly in thick vegetation near or on ground level. And lower strata of small trees.
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus) -
Insectivores. Nest constructed close to ground, sometimes excavated in an earthen bank. Important for controlling lerp infestation in Eucalypts. Population appears to be decreasing. Declining Species.
Black-Faced Cuckoo-Shrike (Coracina novaelhollandiae)–
Forages on foliage, insects and fruits. Inhabits woodlands.
Red-Capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii) – CS3 (LS)
Insectivores. Inhabits tall eucalypts and acacia woodlands. Forages on ground or in low vegetation. Uncommon in this area.
Mistletoe Bird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) -
Inhabits mature Eucalypt woodlands. Only Australian representative of the flowerpecker family. Important for biodiversity. Feeds on mistletoe and other fruiting trees and insects. Uncommon in this area.
Fan-Tailed Cuckoo (Cacomatis flabelliformis)–
Woodlands habitat. Forages on ground for caterpillars, insects and their larvae.
Red - Capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)–
Inhabits eucalypt woodlands near lakes and in acacia, mistletoe and grevillea shrubs. Forages on ground and in foliage for seeds and blossoms. Uncommon. Nests in Eucalypt hollows.
Western Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)–
Feeds on ground and in foliage, usually near water; seeds, blossoms and many insects and larvae. Inhabits woodlands and parks. Nests in Eucalypt hollows.
Silver-eye (Zosterops lateralis)–
Inhabits woodlands. Forages on insects and large amounts of fruit and nectar.
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa)–
Inhabits coastal/inland scrubs and Eucalypt forests/woodlands. Feeds on flying insects. Uncommon in this area.
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
Mostly feeds on the ground
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Uncommon. Described as *Locally Extinct in area (Bamford, 2021, appendix 5, p 24) Last seen in Quondong tree in bushland near Northern Quarry area in 2012.
Magpie Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)
Brown Honeyeater(Lichmera indistincta)–
Inhabits Eucalypt forests, coastal scrub, paperbark & low, dense shrublands & heath. Forages on nectar & insects.
Singing Honeyeater ( Lichenostomus virescens)–
Inhabits open shrubland and low woodland, especially dominated by acacias and coastal scrub. Forages in shrubs for insects and nectar.
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – CS3 (LS)
Forages mainly on nectar from banksias, grevilleas, eucalypts and flowering shrubs. Most feeding occurs in lower areas of bushes and thickets.
White-Cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger) – CS3 (LS)
Prefers woodland habitat with a heath understory. Can build nests low to the ground. Forages on nectar and insects from flowers and foliage.
Western Wattlebird (Anthochaera lunulata)–
Inhabits banksia/eucalypt woodlands, sandplain/coastal heath & tea-tree scrub. Forages on nectar and also insects, flowers particularly banksia sessilis. & some seeds. Uncommon in this area.
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata)–
Forages on food bearing plants, nectar and some insects. Inhabits Eucalypt forests and some coastal scrubs and heaths.
Fantailed Cuckoos are dependent on remnant urban vegetation for their long - term survival. The Striated Pardalote, Western Gerygone, Splendid Blue Wren and Grey Fantails are known to be vulnerable to decline and extinction. Many of the above birds, as pollinators, nectar, seed and insect eaters are significant in maintaining health and biodiversity of the vegetation of bushland areas. It is apparent that many of the birds above mentioned are ground feeders or rest on low perches, thereby making them vulnerable to active human presence. The Rainbow Bee- Eater and Painted Button Quail nest in burrows and on the ground. This makes their nesting habitat susceptible to destruction from mountain and trail bike activities.
Raptors, insect & vertebrate eaters.
Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus)–
Inhabits open forests, woodlands, scrublands & parks. Feeds on rabbits, birds, lizards and some insects, where it chases them along the ground. Juveniles and adults seen around Manning Park. Uncommon in this area.
Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrhocephalus) -
Inhabits forests, woodlands, river margins and leafy gardens. Preys on birds, lizards and some insects.
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)–
Inhabits paperbarks (as seen and heard usually on eastern side of Manning Lake), eucalypt forests, coastal/inland scrub and near watercourses. Feeds on small birds, insects and fruit.
Southern Boobook Owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae)–
Inhabits woodlands, parks. Nests in tree hollows. Eats rodents, insects and small mammals.
Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)–
Mainly insectivorous; eating nocturnal worms, slugs, snails and spiders. Also eats frogs and mice. Inhabits eucalypt and acacia woodlands. Perches in trees close to ground. Uncommon in this area.
Endangered and Vulnerable Cockatoos:
Carnaby Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) Endangered, -CS1 (E S2)
Roosts in tall trees; Eucalypts (Tuarts) and other species of height. Also uses above trees for resting and possible breeding/nesting sites in suitable hollows.
Feeds on banksias sessilis, menziessii, attenuata and dallanneyi (couch honey –pot dryandra). Hakea lissocarpha (honeybush), Eucalyptus Gomphocephala (Tuart) and Decipiens (Red Heart), Xanthoroea Preissii.(Groom.C 2011), and nuts from Aleppo Pine. Also utilizes seeds on ground for foraging. A resident flock inhabits Manning Park and Upland bush area for feeding, resting, roosting, drinking and bathing at and near Manning Lake . Also utilize green corridor (Manning Park being part of the N-W corridor with connection to W-E .(from the ocean to Bibra Lake) for foraging, resting, roosting and possible breeding.
Note- M.J. & A.R. Bamfords Consultation desktop report (April 2021) for City of Cockburn describes; ‘Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo’ a ‘ regular migrant.’ Having monitored Carnaby’s and their roosting sites for past 10 months, From my observations, I would refer to them as resident as their presence in bushland is constant and habitual, including daily resting and foraging in Manning Park bushland as well as roosting and their flightways to and from roosts at Manning and Beale Parks. Given this, they do move further afield for foraging, hence not constantly within the bounds of the park, though utilize it as prime roosting site.
Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Vulnerable. CS1 (VS3)
Usually seen in hot summer months. In 2021, their presence has been notable continuing through winter months around Manning Park bushland and from their flight patterns they appear to have a roosting site south of Manning Lake area. Forages mainly on seeds, also insect larvae found under bark. Like Carnaby’s, they also forage on the ground.
Water Birds , amphibians and mammals in and around Manning Lake.
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) CS3
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
2021 had one breeding pair with five cygnets.
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Declining in numbers. One breeding pair produced 9 ducklings, though not sighted on and around lake since October 2021.
Pacific Black Duck (Anas supercilliosa)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Blue-billed duck (Oxyura australis) – CS2 (P4)
One breeding pair noted 2021 with female and 2 ducklings. Prefers freshwater to saline. Declining on Swan Coastal Plain.
Pink-eared duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus ) CS3
Generally uncommon on Swan Coastal Plain. Several breeding pairs noted with ducklings 2021. Declining on Swan Coastal Plain.
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
Australasian Shoveler (Spatula rhynchotis)– CS3
Uncommon to scarce. Although highest concentrations on Swan Coastal Plain, declining in bush forever sites on Swan Coastal Plain.
Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) CS3
Generally uncommon, though usually one or two breeding pairs at Manning Lake at breeding season. Declining on Swan Coastal Plain.
Hard Head (white –eyed Duck) (Aythya australis) CS3
Not commonly seen at Manning Lake, though visible usually later in breeding season.
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
Uncommon. 2020 had breeding pairs with ducklings, feeding regularly at edge of lake. No ducklings seen 2021.
Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Resident pair breed at Manning Lake. Resting in same paperbark each year. Juveniles seen 2020, though not 2021 to this date.
White -faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
Regularly seen foraging in lake.
Great Egret (Ardea alba) CS1
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus)
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)
Buff-banded Rail (Hypotaenidia philippensis)
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyria)
Commonly seen at lake with chicks in season.
Baillon’s Crake (Zapornia pusilla)
Uncommon and rarely seen at Manning Lake. Last seen 2019, northern waters edge of lake.
Spotless Crake (Zapornia tabuensis)
Breeding pair at Manning Lake. Appear annually with chicks near shrubby bush south side adjoining Manning Lake. This is where the CoC have children’s joy ride machinery for the annual Spring Fair.* So trampling , noise and activity interferes with their nesting habits.
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae)
Mammals, reptiles, amphibians and others seen inhabiting Manning Park and adjacent Bushland.
Oblong Turtle /Long-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga/colliei)-
Dwells in Manning Lake. Lays eggs in land, often at nearby urban dwelling gardens, hence in danger of road kill. Also observed laying eggs on “Trail Head” site as described in Common Ground’s description of Mountain Bike Trails in the Park, hence endangered by activity proposed. Many currently seen (Dec.2021) laying eggs near bitumised paths around lake.
Quenda /South Western Brown Bandicoot (Isooden fusciventer) CS2 (P4)
Seen conical shaped diggings in bushland, (not confused with rabbit diggings) but yet to see one.
Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) CS3 (LS)
Observed fur, (? from territorial scuffles) usually on Eastern side of Manning Lake under Tuarts, 2016 though none seen. Nocturnally active.
Rakali/Water Rat (Hydromus chrysogaster) CS2 (P4)
Seen in reeds 2020. Large rat, though unsure of identity, as moving fast.
Perth Lined Slider (Lerista lineata) CS2 (P3)
Not seen, though recorded in CoC 2017 Fauna Report.
Inhabits bushland. One trapped in 2017 Faunatrack survey on ridgeline area south of Northern Quarry.
King’s Skink (Egernia kingii)–
Seen in adjoining properties to Manning Park bushland, behind Claygate Rd. and in Gorham Way. According to CoC’s 2017 Reptiles, Amphibians and Mammals or Manning Park, prepared by Faunatrack,( p 8) survey report, King’s Skink was noted as present, though only around Manning Lake as a ‘…significant record because of few known populations in the area.’
Western Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua occipitalis)
Not so long ago, fairly commonly seen in bushland. Now rarely seen. One suffering and died -taken to Native Arc Nov. 2020. Injured back foot- stated “possible bike injury”. Regarded as Locally Significant due to a reduced distribution and/or population on Swan Coastal Plain.
Bobtail (Tiliqua rugosa)
Inhabits bushland area and nearby urban gardens. Commonly seen basking on cleared trails.
Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis)
Inhabits bushland and neighbourhood houses. Various reportings of bites, last noted was by a runner, early 2021.
Black-naped Snake (Neelaps bimaculatus)–
Favours sandy soils on the Coastal Plain. Scarce in remnant bush areas. One trapped 2017 Fauntrack survey in southern bushland area. Regarded as becoming extinct in small urban reserves.
Western Bearded Dragon /Dwarf (Pogona minor)
Inhabits bushland area. Commonly seen approx. 15- 20 years ago. Now rarely seen. Basks on limestone and does not regenerate tail if injured. 2 trapped on ridgeline towards Northern Quarry in CoC’s Faunatrack survey 2017.
Two – toed Earless Skink (Hemiergis quadrilineata)-
Found in urban gardens adjoining bushland and park.
West Coast Ctenotus (Ctenotus fallens)
Bynoe’s Gecko ( Heteronotia binoei)
Rarely seen this far south. One found on property adjoining bushland in Claygate Rd, 2021. Described as not in “ range” (Bamford 2021, appendix 5, p21). This gecko is not included in Vertebrae fauna expected to occur in Manning Park Reserve (Bamford 2021, p8-5).
Many of these significant fauna are ground dwellers, feeding, breeding and basking in open areas, including limestone ridges & areas necessary for their survival. They are therefore at risk with increasing activity, particularly mountain bike riding.
I have not included the numerous species of bats, invertebrates, skinks, lizards, frogs and snakes inhabiting the area .
I’ve only mentioned the sometimes less apparent fauna I and others living locally have seen or heard, including some from 2017 Faunatrack survey of 2017. Hence magpies, domestic doves, ravens, galahs etc, and many other introduced birds are omitted.
* (see Spotless Crake).The Council was written to re this (2020) about concerns for fireworks display (disrupts Carnaby’s roost sites.) as well as amplified music stage and (ironically) a “shooting games stall” overlooking ducks on lake and set close to southern edge of Manning Lake after the 2020 Spring Fair. I requested the high noise and activities to be moved away from nesting bird sites. The response was that it was the only flat ground in the park suitable for their stalls.
These are detailed in Appendix 1 (Bamford Report 2021. p 2.6- 2.7) and are described as “ broad levels of conservation significance” in the report as:
Conservation Significance 1 (CS1) – species listed under State or Commonwealth Acts such as Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999(EPC Act) & the Western Australian Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act);
Conservation Significance 2 (CS2) – species listed as Priority by DBCA but not listed under State or Commonwealth Acts;
Conservation Significance 3 (CS3)- species not listed under Acts or in publications, but considered of at least local significance because of their pattern of distribution.
LS – species of local significance.
P – Priority species not listed under WA Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, but for which there is some concern.
E – Endangered species facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in near future.(International Union for the Conservation of Nature. IUCN) Used for EPBC Act 1999 and WABC Act 2016.
V – Taxa facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.
Note: Bamford Consulting Ecologists (BCE . p 1-1) states they were “commissioned by the City of Cockburn to conduct a Basic (sensu EPA 2020) fauna assessment of the eight reserves “…within CoC, including Manning Park, and state under General approach to fauna impact assessment (p1-3) that
“While it is understood that it is not intended that any of the eight reserves outlined in Section 1 are to be developed, the general method of ‘environmental impact assessment (EIA)’ developed by BCE is a strong approach to assess the fauna values of the reserves…” This appears to be contradictory as far as CoC goes. (refer to Bamford report).
Then the report states;“ As noted above, the CoC is not intending to develop any of the eight reserves under investigation (rather, the goal to improve them for conservation value)”…
- under Focus Conservation Significant Species 126.96.36.199( p 3.25) ; “The CoC requested that this report focuses on Perth Lined Slider, Rainbow Bee-eater, Quenda, Eastern Osprey, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo and Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. …notes that the Rainbow Bee-eater was listed as Migratory (under EPBCAct) until mid 2016 but has now been delisted in this category (CoA 2016)…not discussed further. “
Approved Conservation Advice for the Tuart (Eucalyptus Gomphocephala) woodlands and forests of the Swan Coastal Plain.
Bamford M.J & A.R. Consulting Ecologists (2021) City of Cockburn Nature Reserves Fauna Assembly Assessment.
Cullity,J. (2019) Rainbow bee-eaters. Article from Bushland News. Parks and Wildlife Service. Issue 112 Summer 2019-20
DBCA (2019) Conservation Codes for Western Australian Flora and Fauna
DBCA (2019) Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.Western Australian Legislation.
EPA Technical Report (2019, p 10) Carnaby’s Cockatoo in Environmental Impact Assessment in the Perth and Peel Region
Faunatrack (2017) Reptiles, Amphibians and Mammals of Manning Park. Survey prepared for City of Cockburn, Febuary 2018
Groom, C. (2011) Plants Used by Carnaby’s
Nevill, S.J. (2005) Guide to the Wildlife of the Perth Region
Nevill, S.J. (2008) Birds of the Greater South West of Western Australia
Peck, A. (2019) The Great Cocky Count
Pizzey, G. Knight, F. (1999) Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.
South Metro Connect. (2009-2010) Wetland and Migratory Bird Survey.