Protection of wildlife at Field of Mars Reserve

An Echidna walking in the bush

Did you know that Field of Mars Reserve is a wildlife refuge? That is why cats and dogs (even those on a lead) are not allowed to enter the reserve.

With its natural beauty and rich diversity of native plants and animals, Field of Mars Reserve is one of Ryde’s most significant bushland areas. 

Recent flora and fauna studies at Field of Mars Reserve have shown that it is home to a large diversity of native animals including flying foxes, possums, micro bats, frogs, birds, invertebrates, lizards and many other small mammals.

A Wildlife Refuge

Field of Mars Reserve is classed as a wildlife refuge under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Dogs and cats are not permitted to enter the reserve. 

Wildlife refuges help assist:

  • The recovery of local wildlife species
  • Restoration of natural environments
  • Study of wildlife and natural environments

Across Australia wildlife refuges contribute to the conservation of our unique Australian plants and animals.

Damage that cats and dogs cause native wildlife

Harm to wildlife is often blamed on feral cats, but it is important to realise that even well fed pets are instinctive hunters and will attack, injure or kill wildlife

Cats have the ability to destroy native populations of birds, marsupials and lizards. Any time that a cat or dog is in the reserve they may be killing, chasing or

disturbing native wildlife.

Even the presence of their scent in an area may be enough to alter the behaviour of some native animals. Some may abandon their young when approached by dogs or cats.

Protect biodiversity

To help protect the impressive biodiversity within the reserve we would like to remind residents that any companion animals, including cats and dogs, are to be prevented from entering the reserve. 

Dog walking is not allowed, even on leash.

Responsible cat owners

Ensure your cat is:

  • Kept indoors, especially at night
  • Provided with a collar with bells
  • De-sexed as soon as possible
  • Vaccinated
  • Microchipped and registered

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Each year the Environmental Education Centre in Field of Mars Reserve is visited by up to 20,000 school students each year.

Children should be able to enjoy their time in the reserve without being disturbed by pet animals.

Council Rangers regularly patrol the area and can issue on the spot fines should companion animals be found within the reserve.

Tips for protecting wildlife

  • Provide a cat free area at home for birds to feed and lizards to sunbathe
  • Provide a birdbath for drinking and bathing out of reach of your cat
  • Provide a possum nesting box high in a tree
  • Plant native plants and shrubs (dense prickly ones are especially good)
  • Know where your cat is at all times
  • Keep your cat away from bushland areas
  • Place special cat netting along walls and fences to prevent your cat climbing over
  • Create an adventure playground for your cat in your garden using mesh enclosures
  • Report any stray animals to council or a local vet
  • Avoid feeding stray animals

Council thanks all the responsible pet owners who ensure their pets don't enter the Field of Mars Reserve.