During Merri Creek Management Committee’s surveys of Golden Sun Moth in summer 2016/17 we learnt three important things:
Reservoir's endangered Matted Flax-lilies (Dianella amoena) received a boost through a $20,000 Melbourne Water Community Grant awarded to Merri Creek Management Committee. The 2017 project 'Blue Banded Bees Bridging Brex, Broadhurst and BT Connor' saw three Merri Creek sites in Reservoir planted with dense patches of flowering understorey plants to attract the Flax-lilies' primary pollinator, the Blue Banded Bee. Additional Flax-lilies were planted to augment small isolated populations and to create new pollination 'stepping stone' patches.
The Friends of Merri Creek and MCMC held our first Wild Pollinator Count on 13 November, funded by donors to the Help the Blue-banded Bee campaign and the Victorian Government.
MCMC’s Brian Bainbridge pointed out the planting sites in 2017 around Bababi Djinanang in Fawkner, placed a ‘bee hotel’ in the grassland and explained how to do a pollinator count. Participants can now submit their own data to the National Pollinator Count which aims to understand more about the thousands of native pollinator species.
The project’s ‘Blue Banded Bee Band’ gig, supported by high profile local musicians, attracted lots of interest and an article in The Guardian. Read more.
In November 2016 MCMC’s Ecological Restoration Planner, Brian Bainbridge, discovered a butterfly only known from a handful of sites in Victoria! The Yellow Ochre Butterfly Trapezites lutea, sometimes called the Rare White-spot Skipper, doesn’t travel far and is probably breeding on Wattle-mat Rush, Lomandra filiformis. It was seen at Heathcote Junction while MCMC staff were re-establishing native grasses after disturbance from a pipeline project. This is 20 kilometres from the nearest record for the Yellow Ochre Butterfly in Broadford. Read more.