Thirty participants joined an MCMC event, intriguingly named “Are there Platypus in Merri Creek?” in early May at the CERES Environmental Park in Brunswick East, by Merri Creek.
The event began with a presentation by Josh Griffiths from Cesar Australia about Platypus - their distribution, biology, diet, habitat requirements and current threats. The latter include loss of waterway habitat (removal of instream and bank vegetation) and the impact of 'urban stream syndrome', the combined effect of stormwater pollutants and too frequent high flows. Josh discussed the monitoring of platypus and how this is changing to be less invasive, including use of the citizen science Platypus spot app and of DNA to detect Platypus in waterways.
A big shout out to all the wonderful community groups and individuals within the Merri catchment who are doing their bit to remove litter from our streets, parks and waterways and preventing it from going into Port Phillip Bay.
In April 12 volunteers from Lateral Food Corp, Dr Bronners All One charity & partners cleared up more than 12 kgs of litter in just over an hour on Merri Creek in East Brunswick. Most of the litter was broken glass, plastic bags, plastic food packets, macro plastics, coffee cups and yes some face masks.
In May, Zara and her team of fellow students from the University of Melbourne collected 13kg of rubbish after just one hour - all within 50 metres south of the footbridge over Merri Creek between Sumner Reserve, Brunswick East and Merri Park, Northcote.
MCMC is storing 300 large pots of the endangered Matted Flax-lily Dianella ameona at its depot in Brunswick East. The plants were orginally part of a PhD research project into pollination at the University of Melbourne Burnley Campus, but are now destined for various sites in the Merri parklands in Fawkner, to extend pollination pathways.
The University gave the plants to MCMC after an infestation of Thrips changed the focus of the research project from pollination to Thrips. The GPS location of all plants will be recorded and the plantings arranged so that both large and small populations are located in sites of both poor and good quality vegetation to allow for future research projects on pollination.
After an action-packed couple of months, our busiest burning season yet is at an end.
This autumn we conducted 14 ecological burns in grassland vegetation. Eight of these were at Merri sites and 6 at other locations across greater Melbourne, including a few sites that haven’t seen a fire for several decades. We’re very excited to see what grassland treasures emerge from these reserves this spring!
Follow the 'read more' prompt to see MCMC drone footage of the eco-burn at Ngarri-djarrang, a grassland reserve in Reservoir next to Central Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek.
A new project is providing much needed information on the ecological health of Merri Creek. Since mid-2020 MCMC has been involved in a collaborative project with RMIT University that has installed sensors in the creek. These measure water temperature and light every hour, and turbidity (water clarity) every two minutes.
We are delighted that face-to-face community events are back after the long, pandemic-induced pause. There are a number of ways you can keep up to date about upcoming community activities.
During lock-down we ran a number of webinars; you can still view these via our digital resources page.
(Photo: Wednesday Volunteers removing Gorse at Galgi Ngarrk on 24 March.)
MCMC recently led two walks along Merri Creek looking for small birds, microbats and frogs. The first was on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, at Merri Park Northcote, and the second was in late March at Moomba Park, Fawkner. Frogs were heard calling, many birds were spotted and some microbats recorded.
At the Fawkner event participants looked for places to install nest boxes, while at the Merri Park some of the 60 nestboxes that were installed in 2019 & 2020 were checked for occupation. A camera connected to a long pole was used to look inside nestboxes without having to climb trees and with minimal disturbance to any creatures inisde the boxes. At both locations a small Echo meter device assisted identification by picking up the microbats' calls, which are inaudible to humans.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, MCMC's expertise and knowledge was deployed to help in the supervision and training of three Litter Data Officers employed by Moreland Council. The role of these Litter Officers was to examine the state of litter and its sources across the municipality.
Litter audits were conducted around several different sites including the Merri, Moonee Ponds and Westbreen Creeks, and in a variety of built-up site types. The results provide information that can help design education programs on source reduction and on locations for infrastructure, such as litter traps.
MCMC is proud to have played a part in the creation of an indigenous grassland at the National Gallery of Victoria. The garden, which formed part of the In Absence installation, showcases an expanse of Kangaroo Grass, Murnong and Poa behind the main NGV (International) building.
We provided specialist advice to Melbourne architecture studio Edition Office on cultural and sustainability matters and detailed technical information, on site preparation and a plant list.
Generous donations to the Merri Creek Environment Fund are helping with the second year of the Merri Creek Nest Box Pilot Project.
60 artificial hollows were installed in Merri Park south of Arthurton Rd, Northcote. These aim to create habitat for smaller hollow-nesting arboreal species such as microbats and small birds (like pardalotes), and thus increase biodiversity along Merri Creek. The report of the first year is here.
Now we want to set up a Nest Box Monitoring Group. Volunteer monitoring of the nest boxes will help us find out which bird and bat species are using the artificial hollows; what type of hollows they prefer; and what pests we need to manage for.
|20 Jun 2021;|
10:00AM - 12:30PM
CANCELLED: Woody Weed Whacking at Galada Tamboore
|20 Jun 2021;|
01:00PM - 03:00PM
Friends of Edgars Creek Planting
|23 Jun 2021;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Wednesday Volunteers - Friends of Merri Creek
|27 Jun 2021;|
10:00AM - 12:30PM
Friends of Edwardes Lake Planting
|27 Jun 2021;|
10:00AM - 01:00PM
Biodiversity in the Burbs - Community Planting
|04 Jul 2021;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Litter Clean Up, Northcote - Friends of Merri Creek