Ducks, pigeons and swans are just some of the wildlife you'll find in the Botanic Gardens of South Australia. To our feathered friends the gardens are home – they provide a natural haven and a plentiful supply of natural food sources too.
When you visit the gardens you will see signs dotted about the place asking that you do not feed the wildlife. This is for several reasons:
The welfare of animals and birds that are attracted to, and become dependent on, artificial food sources is of real concern. Food fed to wildlife (like white bread) almost always has low nutritional value and could potentially be harmful to the animal eating it.
Allowing wild animals to hand feed regularly may also prevent their young from learning how to forage.
Birds will often become aggressive and persistent in their attempts to snatch food. This increases the risk of accidental injury, especially to small children.
Food intended for swans and ducks also provides a supply for the other bird species (like seagulls and pigeons) that loiter around the eating areas in the gardens. This encourages these birds to wait for food handouts, which is a nuisance, and sometimes a danger, to diners.
Pests and vermin
Animal feeding attracts pests and vermin such as rats and can make wildlife vulnerable to predators. It also increases the level of animal droppings, especially around popular areas.
We appreciate that feeding ducks has long been a popular activity for visitors. But as with the Sydney and Melbourne Botanic Gardens, we've put this measure in place to improve the overall experience for visitors and, ultimately, to protect the wildlife that frequents the Botanic Gardens of South Australia.
Bats - officially known as Grey-headed flying foxes - have made Botanic Park home since 2010.
Visitors to Botanic Park are being reminded not to handle bats and be mindful especially around Speakers' Corner.
During high temperatures, heat-stressed bats and pups can fall to the ground. Contact with a bat can be very dangerous and the animals must only be handled by appropriately trained and vaccinated bat handlers.
If you come across a bat that appears to be dead, injured or in distress, contact Fauna Rescue’s 24-hour bat phone: 0475 132 093.
Find out more about the Grey-headed flying foxes.