The Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain provide valuable ‘greenspace’ in the centre of the city. Visitors enjoy observing birds, reptiles, insects, spiders, fish and eels. You can also expect outdoor evening events to be accompanied by the occasional sounds of flying-foxes and possums foraging through the trees.

Many of us enjoy feeding birds and possums, but there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t:   

  • Handfeeding can make wildlife aggressive and a nuisance.
  • Feeding can make wildlife lazy. Animals start to depend on being fed by humans. They become scavengers instead of unique wildlife that we can be proud of.
  • Human food can make animals sick. Our snack food often contains too much salt and sugar, and can be fatal to birds. Poor nutrition can lead to bone deformities, reduced ability to cope with cold weather and susceptibility to disease.

Frogs, lizards, snakes and spiders:

You may encounter some of these animals in the Royal Botanic Garden and in the Domain. Please be aware that all reptiles are protected by law. Many native reptiles have poisonous bites. Do not attempt to handle them. If you think you have been bitten, seek help immediately - contact a Ranger (0419 270 279) or go to the Garden Shop for first aid. 

What to spot in the Garden

This list compiled by Volunteer Guide Jenny Pattison, November 2011. Please note that the list of wildlife is not complete, you can help us increase our knowledge by reporting your sightings of wildlife (especially insects and spiders) by submitting photos through the QuestaGame app.


Note: CW denotes that species is a ClimateWatch indicator species at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. See www.climatewatch.org.au.

KEY: C=Common, Res=Resident, Br=Breeds in Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, M=Migratory, V=Visitor, E=Exotic, CW=ClimateWatch sp