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6 amazing creatures and plants you can spot in the inner city

There are more than 500 plants, fungi and animals in and around our city. Try spotting these species during the Great Southern Bioblitz from 28 to 31 October.

Common snake-necked turtle, Chelodina longicollis

Sydney has a surprising variety of plants and animals. After it rains, you might be lucky to find these turtles up on land. From October to December female eastern long-necked turtles emerge from their watery homes to nest. They can travel more than 500m from the water to find a suitable nesting site. The female will dig a shallow nest in the banks of rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds, laying around 8 to 24 eggs.

Common snake-necked turtle, Chelodina longicollis

Blue banded bee, Amegilla sp.

Look out for the blue and black banding on their abdomen. Around 11mm in length, these bees live alone in a single shallow burrow nest in clay soil or even mudbricks or soft building mortar. They’ve adapted so well to life in the city that they visit exotic plants like basil for pollen.

Blue banded bee, Amegilla sp.

Green and golden bell frog, Ranoidea aurea

These large frogs, up to 8.5cm in length, used to be quite a common sight in our local area but now they’re only found in a few locations and numbers are low. They are listed as endangered in NSW. Sometimes you can spot them basking in the sun, which is uncommon behaviour for Australian frogs.

Green and golden bell frog, Ranoidea aurea

Wonga wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana

A large woody climber or scrambler that has been planted in many parks, especially along fences. Wonga wonga vine was originally found in coastal rainforest or in moist gullies in sclerophyll forest and woodland, frequently in rocky sites. Your best bet for finding them is Sydney Park and along Orphan School Creek.

Wonga wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana

Eggs and bacon plant, Dillwynia sp.

These small erect shrubs have linear, needle-shaped leaves and yellow or red and yellow flowers. You’ll find them in heath or dry sclerophyll forest, especially where there’s sandstone. We’ve put egg and bacon plant in many of our parks where we’re restoring the natural bush habitat.

Eggs and bacon plant, Dillwynia sp.

Maidenhair fern, Adiantum sp.

This fern thrives in dark and damp locations, along creeks and in rocky crevices and walls. Its fronds are typically 20 to 50 cm in length. It’s easy to find especially in Glebe and Pyrmont.

Maidenhair fern, Adiantum sp.

Find and record your animal and plant sightings from Friday 28 to Monday 31 October, as many as possible, and help us understand how to best manage our city for wildlife.

Bioblitzes are a great way to learn more about the biodiversity of an area. Now in its 3rd year the Great Southern BioBlitz is run by a grassroots network of keen citizen scientists from across the globe. It’s an attempt to take stock of all the living species within several designated areas across the southern hemisphere in spring.

To take part in this natural habitat survey, all you need to do is download the iNaturalist app, join the Great Southern Bioblitz – Greater Sydney Project and explore your balcony, backyard, balcony, street or local park.

The data you collect will support our efforts to ensure plants and animals of all shapes and sizes can survive and thrive where people live.