Suitable Foods Guide

Suitable Foods Guide

Suitable foods for supplementary feeding of uninjured wild animals where natural catastrophic disaster has temporarily eliminated their food supply.

  • If a wildlife species is not mentioned in the table below, it is because it is considered unnecessary to offer food to these species, even during times of natural disaster. Such species include echidnas, snakes, fresh-water and marine turtles and amphibians. Food for fish or invertebrates is not addressed in this table.
  • This table has been developed with input from ecologists, wildlife veterinarians, wildlife nutritionists and rehabilitators and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Table updated 18/2/2020

AnimalsUse in small amountsDon't use: HARMFULTips
Koalas and Greater GlidersEucalyptus foliage placed in a browse pot secured to a treeFoods other than eucalyptus leaves are not accepted by these animals.If these animals are found in an area without eucalyptus trees, notify a wildlife rescue group.

Replenish foliage regularly from secure sources.

Do not place foliage close to ground – predation risk.
Kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and wombats

Macropod (kangaroo) pellets (rural supply stores) if not available use high fibre, low energy horse pellets (not high performance).

Leafy green vegetables1

Grass or oaten hay in cleared farmland only, never in bushland due to weed risk.

Avoid macropod muesli, pony, high performance or stud mixes with rice, seeds, sugar or pollard (too rich, health risk)

Avoid hays in bushland areas (weed risk)

Brassicas such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower (health risk)
Grass or oaten hay is the best feed for the nutrition of these animals but cannot be used in bushland areas due to the unacceptable risk of ecosystem destroying weeds.

Scatter food early morning and evening in small amounts – only replace as needed.

Higher starch vegetables2 may be harmful for some macropods
Eastern pygmy possums

Sugar, squirrel, feathertail and yellow-bellied gliders
Native plants and flowers
Small amounts of fruit3 and vegetables2 (seeds removed).

Insect meal (pet food stores)
High sugar fruit3 and starchy vegetables2.

Wildlife "bait" balls4
Place in fork of tree after sunset
Do not encourage them to the ground to feed as they are vulnerable to predation
Brushtail and ringtail possumesNative plants and flowers
Small amounts of vegetables2 (seeds removed).
High sugar fruit3 and starchy vegetables2.

Wildlife "bait" balls4
Mainly folivores (leaf eating)
Place in fork of tree after sunset.

Do not encourage them to the ground to feed as they are vulnerable to predation
Carnivorous and insectivorous marsupials: antechinus, bandicoots, native rats and other rodentsInsect meal, dog kibble (pet food store).

Finely chopped vegetables2
Mealworms (small amount)
Avoid raw or cooked cooked meat. It spoils quickly and may make animals sick.

Avoid bones.

Wildlife "bait" balls4
Scatter beneath the leaf litter or place under logs where nothing larger than a bandicoot can reach.
Flying foxesChopped fruit3 such as apple, pear, melon, grapes (seeds removed) hung in trees using wire garland (only if advised by local bat carer organisation)Avoid meat, citrus or very sugary foods.Do not approach flying foxes without vaccination for rabies and protective gear.

Removed netting from fruit trees and flowering native plants in your garden to allow flying foxes to access natural food sources.

Do not leave food on the ground.

Dispose of decomposing fruit before replacing.

For more information, please refer to the DPIE guide to helping Flying foxes in emergencies.
Seed and grain eating birds including parrots, cockatoos, galahs, finchesGood quality wild bird blocks with large and small seeds.
Fruit3 (seeds removed).
Avoid too many sunflower seeds or nuts. They are high in fat and can make birds sick.Do not scatter seed on the ground to attract predators.

Hang feeders and fruit trees.

Dispose of decomposing fruit, soiled seed before replacing
LorikeetsBird nectar mix (pet food stores)Sugar water or honey water are health risks.Do not feed on the ground. It attracts predators.
HoneyeatersBird nectar mix and insect meal (pet food stores) placed in fork of treeSugar water or honey water are health risks.Do not feed on the ground. It attracts predators.
Reptiles (Lizards)Insect meal for ground-dwelling and arboreal animals.

Finely chopped vegetables2 in forks of trees for arboreal species.
Meat spoils quickly and may make animals sick.Create habitat using logs, rocks and leaves
Do not place vegetables on the ground.

1Leafy green vegetables typically include silverbeet, baby spinach, endive, cos lettuce.
2Vegetables typically include squash, capsicum, eggplant, pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, turnips and the higher in sugar or starch: sweet potato, corn, peas, parsnip, carrot, beetroot.
3Fruit includes berries, melons, stone fruits, paw paw and the higher sugar orange, apple, pear, figs, banana, grapes and kiwi.
4Wildlife bait balls are typically mixes of peanut butter, oats and honey used to attract animals and should never be used to feed native wildlife.