This site includes Merri Creek from the south to the north end of McBryde St Fawkner, including the 4 ha Bababi Djinanang (meaning "Mother's Foot") grassland on Crown Land on the west side of Merri Creek, adjacent to the end of Jukes Rd Fawkner. (This was formerly known as Jukes Rd grassland and 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 - Woolly Tea-tree riparian scrub (18.2 Merri Creek).
Remnant, degraded or establishing stands – Lightwood-Tree Violet cliff/escarpment shrubland (20.5; Merri Creek)
Bababi Djinanang grassland contains a small area of Plains Grassland
which has the largest known population in existence of the endangered Matted Flax-lily (Dianella amoena) (G. Carr, pers. comm.). In addition there are more than 60 other indigenous species present, including a number of lilies (Mueck 1997, B. Miles pers. comm.).
Growling Grass frogs and 3 other species of frog were recorded on Merri Creek upstream of B. T. O’Connor Reserve on 3/3/1992.
Seven species of reptile were recorded during a 1hr search along Merri Creek, upstream of B. T. O’Connor Reserve, on 3/3/1992. These included 4 species rated as ‘GM critical fauna – regionally restricted species (R5 species)’ - Large Striped Skink, Cunningham’s Skink, Tussock Skink and Little Whip Snake. Tussock skinks were raher common on the Merri Creek escarpment. Fourteen Eastern Three-lined Skinks were recorded in a burnt area at the B. T. O’Connor Reserve on 21/04/1988.
A Spotless Crake was observed amongst reed-beds in riparian scrub on Merri Creek at B. T. O’Connor Reserve, on 3/3/1992.
Beardsell 1997 noted that “the faunal significance would improve with habitat rehabilitation and enhancement works and restoration of habitat links along the Merri Creek.” These works have been undertaken since that time by MCMC and others.
Four reptile species of regionally significance were recorded at the site.
Weed Control. Prevent any further rock removal. Replanting of indigenous vegetation. Protect the rocky grassland areas which support a diverse reptile assemblage. Bababi Djinanang and Ngarri-djarrang grassland (formerly known as Central Creek grassland) are the innermost intact indigenous remnants remaining on Merri Creek.
“Riparian links both upstream and downstream need to be maintained and enhanced. Extensive weed contro; and replanting of indigenous vegetation is required along Merri Cree. A broader link of River Red Gums and strategic planting of shrubs (both escarpment and riparian species) would recruit additional riparian and woodland birds. Enhancement of these links will promote the long-term viability of faunal populations, which are currently threatened.” (Beardsell 1997 V.2 p.57)
Land tenure and reservation outlook:
Most of the site is owned by the State Government. Its status is uncertain being unreserved Crown Land. The remainder is owned by Moreland City Council. The vegetation is being actively managed for conservation by Merri Creek Management Committee, with funding from the Council. Previously Parks Victoria Agency Grants Program funding was also available however this has now been discontinued.