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Environmental management

The City of Canning has a dedicated team that manages the City’s on-ground natural areas.

The Natural Areas team:

  • control environmental weeds
  • monitor populations of threatened and priority plants
  • manage and assist in rescuing threatened wildlife in City parks and conservation areas
  • control feral pests, including cats, foxes and rabbits
  • undertake restoration activities such as revegetation and foreshore stabilisation
  • collect native seed for restoration projects
  • educate the community about environmental issues
  • organise and participate in planting days with local schools and the community
  • collaborate with local community volunteer group and specialist contractors.

The City helps to manage and treat various introduced and naturally occurring diseases in its natural areas. This is achieved by implementing various management practices to control the impacts of these diseases.

Phytophthora Dieback

Phytophthora Dieback invades the root systems of susceptible plant species, causing them to die. There are many species of Phytophthora Dieback in Perth soils, which have been introduced from across the world. The infections change vegetation communities and affect native animals.

Phytophthora Dieback is managed by treating infected areas with phosphite on a three-year cycle. Keep on eye out for Dieback Protection Area signs, which warn visitors about the presence of dieback. The City has also started planting dieback resistant seedlings to restore infected areas.

The most common way to spread dieback is through transferring wet soil on shoes and vehicles. You can help by observing signs, walking on designated pathways, and brushing dirt of your shoes on entry to dieback free bushland areas.

If you have bushland on your property and have noticed plants dying, please contact us. Our Parks Conservation Officer can discuss dieback identification and treatment options.

Marri Canker Disease and Quambalaria Shoot Blight

Marri Canker Disease is a contributing factor to the decline in health of Marri trees. Marri Canker is more prevalent in disturbed areas, such as road verges, medians and parks. Factors such as soil nutrients and mycorrhizal associations may make Marri trees more likely to become infected.

The City monitors Marri trees for symptoms of the disease, which may include:

  • large areas of cracked bark
  • large amounts of exuded red gum
  • white powdery masses on diseased areas.

Similarly, Quambalaria Shoot Blight is an introduced disease from the east coast of Australia. The disease stunts growth and attacks shoots, leaves and flower buds of Marri. The City records and reports incidences of these diseases and participates in treatment trials where possible.


Botulism is a bacterial toxin affecting waterbirds. The toxin is produced when water conditions are favourable, and high organic matter and low oxygen levels have enabled bacteria spores to multiply.

Waterbirds become infected by swallowing the toxin. Poisoned birds are usually paralysed and need immediate treatment to avoid death. Our Natural Areas team help by rescuing sick birds and delivering them to wildlife shelters.

The City helps to manage botulism by recording incidences and reporting them to the Department of Agriculture and Food. The City also helps to maintain healthy waterways through revegetation and restoration. This helps to prevent the water conditions suitable for the growth of the bacterium.

It is recommend you don't feed waterbirds human food. This can increase the nutrient loading of a waterway and produce favourable conditions for the growth of the bacterium. For more information, download the To Feed or Not to Feed? brochure (PDF 1.6MB).

The City undertakes several fire mitigation strategies and works with stakeholders, including the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), to reduce the risk of fire to property close to natural areas.

Fire management plans have been prepared for several of the City’s natural areas, including:

  • Bannister Creek
  • Ranford Road Bushland
  • Clifton Road Buffer
  • Queens Park Regional Open Space
  • Yagan Wetland Reserve.

The City also has fire management plans for each of its six Bush Forever areas.

The fire management plans help the City address bushfire risk in consideration of:

  • fuel load
  • proximity to waterways and residences
  • natural habitats
  • environmental weeds
  • topography.

The Natural Areas team helps to manage bushfire risk by maintaining firebreaks, pruning vegetation, and controlling environmental weeds.

To help restore degraded bushland areas, the Natural Areas team collects seeds from local species growing in the City.

The team is allowed to collect seeds from a variety of plant species, including:

  • Marri tree (Corymbia calophylla)
  • Hairy Yellow Pea (Gompholobium tomentosum)
  • Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana).

The seeds are propagated with help from specialised native nurseries and local volunteer groups. The seedlings are planted in locations like those where they are collected.

Recent climate predictions suggest rainfall in Perth will decrease 10 to 40 per cent, with the temperature set to increase by 0.6 to 3.0˚C in the next 100 years.

The rise in temperature and decrease in rainfall could impact our native plants and animals due to heat stress, thirst and increased bushfires.

It is predicted climate change will cause the sea level to rise and contribute to an increase in the frequency and size of extreme weather events. Such events will increase the need for riverbank stabilising techniques to reduce erosion and risk to public safety.

The City has initiatives to help reduce and adapt to the risks posed by climate change. For example, the City is connecting natural areas together to produce ecological corridors. This will help plants and animals migrate to more favourable areas.

Visit the Sustainable Canning page for tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint.

The City is committed to supporting volunteers in their endeavours. There are many groups undertaking valuable conservation activities in the community.

The Environmental Community Group and Organisation Manual (PDF 5MB) helps to enhance the relationships between community groups and the City. The manual:

  • provides guidance on natural area management techniques
  • outlines roles and responsibilities
  • outlines the support and resources that the City can provide to groups
  • advises on how to establishing new groups and managing existing groups
  • describes the existing natural environment, threats and opportunities
  • outlines insurance and public liability requirements
  • provides information on creating a safe working environment
  • provides templates, website links and contacts to obtain further information
  • provides guidance in potential funding and partnership opportunities
  • outlines training and professional development opportunities.

For more information or advice, please call us on 1300 422 664.

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