Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we have postponed our face-to-face community events. We'll resume these activities once it's safe to do so.
In the meantime, we are offering some alternatives. First off are six new Merri bird posters. You can see these at selected sites along the Merri Shared Trail south of the Ring Rd. We also have some webinars coming up.
If you have suggestions for a webinar or poster topics, please get in touch. And if you haven't already signed up, please subscribe to our events emails. That way we can let you know about our webinars and also our site-based events when these start up again.
Check out Merri Creek Management Committee's recent achievements by reading our latest Annual Report. Here's a few snapshots for the year:
In mid-February, 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.
Each year World Wetlands Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Ramsar Convention in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.
This year Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) joined forces with the Friends of Merri Park for a wetland walk, talk and litter clean up at the beautiful Merri Park wetland in Northcote. This wetland was developed in 1999, after almost two decades of community advocacy and planning. MCMC, with Melbourne Water and the City of Darebin were key partners in its development.
The 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.
Sixteen participants enjoyed exploring nocturnal nature at the Alphington wetlands in late December 2019, with the help of staff from the Merri Creek Managament Committe 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).
Nine keen volunteers helped collect important citizen science data on waterbug diversity on the Plenty River as part of the November 2019 Waterbug Blitz.
MCMC's Waterwatch Coordinator worked with Waterbug guru, John Gooderham, to help participants collect and identify waterbugs from three Plenty River sites - the Gorge in Mernda, near the Whittlesea township, and upstream of the township at Wildwood Rd.
Merri Creek Management Committee staff visited Galada Kindergarten in Epping to introduce local biodiversity to 12 groups of four year olds over two days in March 2020. We used storytelling to introduce Spotted Marsh Frog, Pacific Black Duck, Rakali, Long-necked Turtle, Platypus (Dulai wurrung), and Short-finned Eel (Iuk) as local creatures of Wurundjeri Country and their Woi-wurrung names (when known).
Our Ecological Restoration staff have been hard at work, adapting their autumn ecological burn program to heavy, early autumn rains and the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 world. A few of this year’s burns have been postponed, particularly those close to homes where smoke could impact on health-compromised residents who may be self-isolating. Elsewhere our ecological burn program is continuing.
A 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.
Ten community members gave up their Sunday to participate in a litter workshop, jointly run by Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee, in late November 2019. The aims of the workshop were to:
- Learn about the current litter problem in Merri Creek and the source of this litter;
- Come up with actions participants could undertake, personally and with their social connections, to reduce litter coming into the creek.
Merri Creek Management Committee. 2 Lee St, East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia 3057 (view map in new window )
Phone:(03) 9380 8199 Email: email@example.com
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Merri Creek Management Committee. 2 Lee St, East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia 3057
Phone:(03) 9380 8199 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ABN: 13 025 599 242
© Merri Creek Management Committee