Sixteen participants enjoyed exploring nocturnal nature at the Alphington wetlands in late December 2019, with the help of staff from Merri Creek Management Committee and the City of Yarra. The wetlands are nestled beside the Yarra River in Alphington.
Participants learned to recognise local frogs by their calls and collected data using the Melbourne Water Frog Census app. The highlight of the evening was hearing at least three Peron’s tree frogs (Litoria peronii) calling from the wetlands The last time Peron’s tree frog was recorded in the City of Yarra was more than 25 years ago, in 1994. (photo by Craig Lupton, City of Yarra).
A bat detector was used to discover some of the nine different species of microbats that live in the City of Yarra’s bushland areas. Most microbat species use sonar, low frequency sound waves, to detect and find food, usually flying insects. Microbat sonar is usually too low pitched for human ears, with the exception of the White-striped free-tailed bat Tadarida australis. At least two species of microbat were recorded on the microbat detector at the Alphington wetlands.
The event was led by MCMC's Waterwatch Coordinator, Julia Cirillo, and the City of Yarr's Senior Biodiversity Officer, Craig Lupton. Thank you to the City of Yarra for funding this event.