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.

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.