Merri Creek Management Committee

Chip Cherries Leratiomyces ceresA very successful Fungi of the Merri webinar, with Fungal Ecologist, Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher, was held in July 2020, attracting 69 participants.
The link takes you to a recording of the presentation, which is full of fascinating information about the fungi found near Merri Creek and their important roles.
The webinar was jointly organised by the Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee. (Photo: Chip Cherries, Leratiomyces ceres).

Help publish a full colour book on Fungi
You can help publish Australia’s first book on practical land management harnessing the mysterious mycological kingdom: Fungi for land, by donating here.

Bat detector spectogramIn mid-February 2020, community volunteers and Merri Creek Management Committee staff bravely ventured out after a rainy afternoon to Merri Park in Northcote for the final nest box monitoring session for the season. Thirty-two nest boxes were installed in trees in Merri Park in September 2019. The group was on the lookout for microbats, in particular Gould’s Wattled Bat and the White-striped Free-tail Bat, both of which use hollows and, potentially, nest boxes. Both types of microbat are thought to be in the area. 

Powerful Owl with Ring tail 17 April 2020 1b in Fairfield by Craig LuptonA female Powerful Owl has been spotted with a Common ring-tail possum in her claws, not far from the Merri Parklands. Craig Lupton, Senior Biodiversity Officer, at Yarra City Council, photographed the bird near the Yarra River in  Fairfield on 16 April 2020. Craig said: "She’ll sit on it [the possum] until dusk, devour it, then fly off into the night to continue looking for a mate and foraging."  

As an apex predator, this urban Powerful Owl commonly feeds on Ring-tail possums, young Brush-tail possums, and quite possibly Grey-headed flying foxes and some species of day birds. It's inspiring to see these birds utilising our precious urban bushland areas.

pesticide detectives samplingThe ecological effects of pesticides in waterways is being explored as part of an exciting new citizen science project called Pesticide Detectives. This federally funded program is a collaboration between RMIT University and citizen science volunteers. 

As part of the project, Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) collected a  sediment sample from Merri Creek, just south of its confluence with Edgars Creek in Coburg North, in late 2019. The good news is that no pesticides were found in the sample.

Merri Yarra confluence mixing smallThe first activity of MCMC's Upper Merri Sodic & Erosive Soils Working Group kicked off with a special presentation by eminent soil scientist Dr Robert van de Graaff in October 2019.  Dr van de Graaff explained that due to the geological and climate history of the Merri Creek catchment, most soils in the catchment are sodic and thus highly susceptible to erosion. These soils present major challenges for urban development and until now have been largely overlooked.  Detailed mapping of the soils and assessment of the degree of risk they pose is sorely needed. Dr van de Graaff's presentation is here (8.8MB pdf). 

Photo: The muddy Merri (foreground), thick with sediment from sodic soils in the upper catchment, meets the Yarra, June 2018 © Katrina Roberg

Merri Events Calendar