Merri Creek Management Committee

Wildlife & Habitat Guide for Merriang Landholders

Streambank & Wetland - Semi-aquatic and aquatic vegetation and associated streambank shrubland

Red-browed Finch
Neochmia temporalis

Description

A sparrow sized, olive-green finch with a bright red bill, eyebrow and rump. Locally this species favours Stream bank Shrubland. It may also use reed beds and Stony Knoll Shrubland.

Habitat needs

  • Seeding grasses and sedges for food.
  • Dense shrubs near feeding habitat in which to escape from predators.
  • Dense, prickly shrubs in which to build nests.

Threats

  • Loss of dense prickly shrub habitat, especially where exotic woody weeds like Gorse or Hawthorn are removed prior to establishment of suitable replacements.
  • Predators such as cats and foxes.

Things to note

  • Soft, peevish calls are used to keep the small flocks in touch.

Things to do

  • Plant clumps of indigenous shrubs for nesting such as Sweet Bursaria and Tree Violet.
  • Fence off and re-establish shrubs on Stony Knolls and along creeklines.
  • Stage removals of woody weed patches over a number of years to allow time for replacement plantings to mature.
  • Retain some areas of seeding grasses within the landscape.
  Visit the Western Australian Museum’s FaunaBase to view an image and specimen map. Note: the specimen map does not accurately represent distribution within the Victorian volcanic plains.

Growling Grass Frog
Litoria raniformis

Vulnerable Nationally Flora & Fauna Guarantee listed

Description

A large bright green frog (up to 100mm). The belly is white and the groin and armpits are tinged blue. The call is a loud growling waaarrrk! ah! ah! ah! wa!

Growling Grass Frog

Habitat needs

  • Dams and pools that retain water in early summer are needed for breeding.
  • Aquatic vegetation for basking is ideal but tall, dense reeds may become too shady.
  • The frogs use drystone walls and logs to shelter under in cool and dry weather.
  • Good breeding populations of prey species.

Threats

  • This species is Nationally Endangered and vulnerable in Victoria.
  • Loss or degradation of wetland habitat including silt and pollution runoff.
  • Loss of foraging areas around the wetlands.
  • Clearing of rocks and logs in areas surrounding breeding sites.
  • Use of herbicides and pesticides.
  • Predation on eggs and tadpoles by introduced fish; Redfin, Carp and Mosquito Fish.
  • Viral, bacterial and fungal diseases.

Things to note

  • This frog moves hundreds of metres hunting other frogs and large insects.
  • Breeding occurs in October-January, eggs are laid in a jelly raft.
  • The Merri Creek catchment is an important site for this species’ conservation.

Things to do

  • Protect wetlands and creeklines on your property by fencing. Dense pasture grasses can hinder frog movement and hunting so some periodic grazing may be useful.
  • Encourage aquatic plants like Water-ribbons and Pondweeds.
  • Retain areas of boulders, drystone walls and logs near wetlands.
  • Limit the movement of water plants or mud between wetlands to avoid spreading disease or Mosquito fish.
  Visit the Western Australian Museum’s FaunaBase to view an image and specimen map. Note: the specimen map does not accurately represent distribution within the Victorian volcanic plains.