Wildlife Refuges


Long Reef Headland

Warringah’s protection areas include Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge, Long Reef Aquatic Reserve and 18 declared Wildlife Protection Areas.

Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge

Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge is just behind Dee Why Beach and protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and the Threatened Species Conservation Act.

The refuge is a valuable conservation area for endangered migratory birds and aquatic plants and animals. The bushland and wetlands contain a sequence of coastal ecosystems rarely found in an urban environment and represent an important regional environmental and educational resource.

Dogs and cats are prohibited in this reserve at all times

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve was declared in 1980 to protect marine invertebrates (animals without backbones) found on the rock platforms and subtidal marine plants and animals.

It is a fragile environment that faces a number of pressures. With the exception of fin fish, collecting or harming marine plants or animals in the aquatic reserve is not allowed.

The reserve has a wide variety of habitats on the two main rocky shores. The northern rocky reef area is protected from southerly swells by the prominent eastern headland, while the larger eastern platform is more exposed. Different animals occur in these two areas. The sheltered boulder fields and surf-exposed ledges support a wide range of marine animals.

Marine organisms on the rocky shore include anemones, barnacles, chitons, limpets, nudibranchs, grazing snails, crabs, worms, sea stars and sea urchins.

Areas below the low tide mark contain marine animals such as sea urchins, large gastropods and encrusting sponges and anemones. On the upper fringes of this region, colonies of tube worms, larger barnacles and cunjevoi (or sea squirts) are also found.

The whole subtidal area has extensive kelp beds where a variety of fish seek shelter. There is a diverse range of fish at Long Reef. Significant species that can be found include the Grey Nurse Shark, Blue Groper, Black Cod, Port Jackson Shark, Weedy Sea Dragon and Wobbegong Shark.

Long Reef is also an important feeding and roosting area for threatened migratory shorebirds and sea birds. Every Australian summer a wide range of Petrels, Terns, Sandpipers, Plovers and other birds that breed in Arctic Asia, Alaska and the Arctic regions of Siberia return to Long Reef in their non-breeding months.

Wildlife Protection Areas

These bushland reserves have been identified to support populations of vulnerable native wildlife, such as possums, birds and lizards. Declaration of Wildlife Protection Areas is in accordance with the Companion Animals Act 1998.

Wildlife Protection Areas allow us to ban access by domestic animals. Dogs must be on a leash at all times in the following Wildlife Protection Areas and cats are not allowed at any time. Some high conservation areas don’t allow dogs.

Temporary prohibitions on dog access within Wildlife Protection Areas may be required during restricted periods to allow for the management of feral animals. This means that we can undertake specific pest control and enforcement activities.