Management Phone/Fax: 03 9499 4454 | Parklands Phone/Fax: 03 9499 3486

Flora & Fauna

Revegetating and Restoring the Darebin Creek

The DCMC works closely with Council’s Bushcrews and Contractors, Landholders and “Friends of” groups, volunteers and other agencies to revegetate and restore the Darebin Creek Catchment. This is important work as our waterways provide habitat links for our local birds and animals as well as being a beautiful place for people to live, work and play.

Over the years thousands of indigenous trees, shrubs, grasses and ground covers have been planted in the Darebin Creek Catchment. Plants are grown by local nurseries and community members from locally sourced seed. The seedlings are then planted over autumn and winter when they are most likely to establish so they can survive through the summer period. You can get involved in this important work by contacting one of the Friends groups in this brochure.

 

Indigenous Plants

The Darebin Creek is made up many plant communities including River Red Gum Grassy Woodland, dominated by Eucalyptus camaldulensis. This important plant community consists of a scattering of large River Red Gums, smaller trees and shrubs in groups with grasses and wildflowers growing underneath. Grassy Woodlands have regional significance as they now occur in small fragmented areas within the Catchment.

Smaller plants such as grasses, climbers and shrubs are well suited to urban gardens, so why not grow indigenous plants in your own garden? Try native violets (Viola hederacea) to replace traditional violets and native lilies (Dianella species) to replace Agapanthus or Kidney Weed instead of a lawn and save water at the same time!

Why grow indigenous plants?

Indigenous simply means local, so an indigenous plant is a plant that is local to a particular area. There are many advantages to using indigenous plants in your garden including:

  • Low maintenance and water saving
  • Well adapted to local soil and climate
  • Provide habitat and food for local birds, insects and animals
  • Attractive and come in many shapes and forms for landscaping
  • Are less likely to become a weed
  • For more Information contact DCMC for a list of plants to suit your area or search for local Indigenous Nurseries.

Photo: Kidney Weed (Dichondra repens) makes and attractive lawn replacement in low use areas

Photo: Clustered everlasting (Chrysocephalum semipappasum) has a very good show of yellow flowers in summer and spring and suits a dry position.

Photo: Bluebells (Wahlenbergia spp.) are small herbs, which add colour to an indigenous garden.

 

Wildlife of the Darebin Creek

The Darebin Creek supports a wide diversity of bird, mammal, reptiles, fish, frogs and insects.

Over 100 species of birds make along the Darebin Creek, and while some are resident species, living and breeding in the Catchment, others are seasonal migrants visiting from other parts of Australia and the world. Birds range from the Wedge-tailed Eagle, which is a powerful hunter, to the tiny insect loving Spotted Pardalote. Kingfishers and Little Pied Cormorants can be seen close to the creek and wetlands doing a spot of fishing. Ducks are common along the creek and breed in bird boxes built especially for them. Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos are a noisy addition to the creek as they fly about looking for dead Acacia trees containing grubs.

There are more than ten species of frogs, including the endangered Growling Grass Frog, Spotted Marsh Frog and Ewing’s Tree Frog.

Mammals include the Short-beaked Echidna, Brush and Ring-tailed Possums, Rakali (Water rats), Kangaroos and Grey Headed Flying Foxes as well as tiny Micro-bats that are less than 5cm in length.

Reptiles include, Blue-tongue Lizards, Tiger Snakes and Long-necked Turtles. Eels and fish live in the Darebin Creek sharing their home with macro-invertebrates such as Burrowing Crayfish and Yabbies.

Many of the creek’s residents are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night, including possums and bats. For more information on wildlife check out our Fact Sheets at www.dcmc.org.au

 

Weeds

The Darebin Creek is threatened by weed invasion from rural sources such as farms and urban sources such as gardens. Alligator Weed is one of the worst aquatic and terrestrial weeds in the world and has been identified in the Darebin Creek, but it is often the most common garden plants that are more problematic. Traditional garden plants such as Arum Lilies, Agapanthus, Ivy, Violets, Morning Glory as well as Fennel and Prickly Pear are common weeds in the Darebin Creek environment. They thrive in the wet conditions and can quickly choke the creek and the local plants. You can help by avoiding invasive plants and using indigenous species in your garden. Many of the plants that are local to the Darebin Creek make very attractive garden plants, for more information go to the Indigenous Plants section in this brochure or visit an indigenous nursery.

Landholders face agricultural weeds, which are detrimental to their crops and pastures as well as the Darebin Creek’s natural environment. In the Upper Darebin Catchment Gorse, Paterson’s Curse and Scotch Thistle are significant problems. DCMC works with landholders to replace weedy areas with indigenous plants and restore the land.