This 9ha grassland is located along Central Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek, in Reservoir, Victoria and it officially has the Wurundjeri name Ngarri-djarrang, meaning "Thigh." (It is one of four grassland sites along Merri Creek that together form a proposed Parks Victoria park to be called Marran Baba, or "body of the mother.")
Partially intact or small stands – Kangaroo Grass plains grassland (23.2 Central Creek).
Remnant, degraded or establishing stands – Kangaroo Grass stony knoll grassland (22.1; Central Creek)
Remnant of Plains Grassland, Stony Knoll Grassland and Grassy Wetland
112 indigenous species have been identified on the site, including nationally significant Short-fruit Water Starwort, Callitriche brachycarpa and Matted Flax-lily, Dianella amoena and State significant Rye Beetle-grass, Tripogon lolliformis. Short Sword-sedge, Lepidosperma curtisae on the site is believed to be of State significance (Robinson and Morgan 1997).
Ngarri-djarrang supports a number of significant species, and is potential habitat for Striped Legless Lizards.
“Eleven species (of herpetofauna) were recorded amongst Lightwood-Tree Violet cliff/escarpment shrubland (20.5) above Merri Creek and Kangaroo Grass plains grassland (23.2) between Merri Creek and Central Creek on 3 March 1992. Small outcrops of Kangaroo Grass stony knoll grassland (22.1) occur above Central Creek. Seven species of reptiles were recorded including Little WhipSnake, Cunningham’s Skink and Large Striped Skink at the proposed freeway crossing of Merri Creek and one was located on a stony crest between the Merri and Central Creeks.” (NEROC Vol 2 p. 56)
Robinson and Morgan (1997) note that the Grassy wetland is "of considerable interest as it represents one of the few ungrazed examples of this community in the Melbourne / Basalt Plains region". DCE (1990) recorded the site in its inventory (Site 37 - Merri Creek - Reservoir Grassland) - "A surprisingly little-disturbed stand of Plains Grassland, although regularly mown: some soil disturbance has occurred, perhaps during mowing." The site is no longer mowed apart from fire breaks on the edges.
Much of the surface rock was removed from central creek and most of the area was mowed – detrimantal for reptile and grassland herb species. Maintenance and enhancement of these links will promote the long-term viability of faunal populations, which are currently threatened
Land tenure and reservation outlook:
Part of the grassland was transferred from VicRoads ownership to the Urban Land Authority and Darebin City Council, who are developing the northern and eastern edges of the land north of Davidson St for residential and industrial purposes.
Most of the land will soon be crown land and will be reserved for conservation. This is managed by Merri Creek Management Committee and Darebin City council with Darebin City Council as Committee of Management. Some significant species threatened by the nearby development, including the largest population of Lepidosperma curtisae on the site, were translocated into the reserved grassland.
References Beardsell (1997), Mueck (1997)