Here in the City of Moreland we have a highly urbanised environment, but we still have parks and creeks that permeate through our suburbs. A wealth of natural species, including at least 36 threatened species, manage to co-exist with human settlement and all of our buildings and roads.
Today – September 7 – is National Threatened Species Day, and we should pay attention to the species threatened with extinction in both our local environment and nationally.
Here in Moreland some species have learnt to live among the houses and roads and in the street trees we have planted.
Many more live in the parkland environments along watercourses and flood mitigation basins and wetlands, including along Merri Creek, Moonee Ponds Creek and Merlynston Creek.
A few find some refuge along the Upfield rail verge. Some find solace and nesting holes in mature trees and live among our dead in the Fawkner and Northern Memorial Cemeteries.
At least 36 threatened species partially live or visit Moreland. Many are bird species which visit the area, but we also have moths, lizards, dragons, fish, frogs, flying foxes and grassland flowers. Each is unique.
I have written previously that Urban areas like Fawkner support endangered species. Scientific research shows that 30 per cent of Australian endangered species are found within our capital city urban areas. Where we have settled and built our cities and houses in Australia are also biodiversity hot spots.
These are the species we need to look out for and cherish their habitat. Our Federal MP for Wills, Peter Khalil, needs to be their voice in Federal Parliament, for Federal funding of biodiversity programs generally, and provide specific support for local programs to ensure these species remain with us.
Other species enrich our lives, if not materially then spiritually.
Local groups such as Friends of Merri Creek, Merri Creek Management Committee, Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek, among others, do an incredible job in bringing people together to manage and care for our urban natural environment habitats.
In Australia we don’t have a good record with regard to species extinctions. Watson etal at The Conversation assert that “More than 90 species have gone extinct since European colonisation (including three in just the past decade), and more than 1,700 species are now formally recognised as being in danger of extinction.”
The researchers argue that Federal funding for Biodiversity has dropped by 37 percent since 2013.
At a local Fawkner election forum I asked a question of all candidates for Wills in the 2013 Federal election about who had visited the Bababi Djininang grasslands in Fawkner and knew of the existence of threatened species in that area. Only two responded positively.
For the record, here is a list of threatened species that partially live or are known to visit Moreland.
|Scientific Name||Common Name|
|Amphibromus fluitans||River Swamp Wallaby-grass, Floating Swamp Wallaby-grass|
|Anthochaera phrygia||Regent Honeyeater|
|Apus pacificus||Fork-tailed Swift|
|Botaurus poiciloptilus||Australasian Bittern|
|Calidris ferruginea||Curlew Sandpiper|
|Delma impar||Striped Legless Lizard|
|Dianella amoena||Matted Flax-lily|
|Diuris fragrantissima||Sunshine Diuris, Fragrant Doubletail, White Diuris|
|Galaxiella pusilla||Eastern Dwarf Galaxias, Dwarf Galaxias|
|Gallinago hardwickii||Latham’s Snipe, Japanese Snipe|
|Glycine latrobeana||Clover Glycine, Purple Clover|
|Grantiella picta||Painted Honeyeater|
|Hirundapus caudacutus||White-throated Needletail|
|Lathamus discolor||Swift Parrot|
|Leucochrysum albicans var. tricolor||Hoary Sunray, Grassland Paper-daisy|
|Litoria raniformis||Growling Grass Frog, Southern Bell Frog, Green and Golden Frog, Warty Swamp Frog|
|Maccullochella peelii||Murray Cod|
|Monarcha melanopsis||Black-faced Monarch|
|Motacilla flava||Yellow Wagtail|
|Myiagra cyanoleuca||Satin Flycatcher|
|Nannoperca obscura||Yarra Pygmy Perch|
|Neophema chrysogaster||Orange-bellied Parrot|
|Numenius madagascariensis||Eastern Curlew, Far Eastern Curlew|
|Pimelea spinescens subsp. spinescens||Plains Rice-flower, Spiny Rice-flower, Prickly Pimelea|
|Prasophyllum frenchii||Maroon Leek-orchid, Slaty Leek-orchid, Stout Leek-orchid, French’s Leek-orchid, Swamp Leek-orchid|
|Prototroctes maraena||Australian Grayling|
|Pteropus poliocephalus||Grey-headed Flying-fox|
|Pterostylis cucullata||Leafy Greenhood|
|Rhipidura rufifrons||Rufous Fantail|
|Rostratula australis||Australian Painted Snipe|
|Senecio macrocarpus||Large-fruit Fireweed, Large-fruit Groundsel|
|Synemon plana||Golden Sun Moth|
|Tringa nebularia||Common Greenshank, Greenshank|
|Tympanocryptis pinguicolla||Grassland Earless Dragon|
The data from above was extracted from the Conversation embedded map application produced by Greenfire Science.
You can zoom in to an electorate to see the number of threatened species for that electorate and download the electorate threatened species list.
John, this is an excellent reminder of the impacts of our modern living and our urbanised cities. It’s also a great reminder that we have much to do to keep the biodiversity we have, and act sooner rather than wishing it’ll all be sorted by someone else! Thankfully we have local groups like the one’s you have mentioned and many others too that plant, mainatain and support habitat. The Upfield Urban Forest group is another amazing effort to make out city more live-able for the voiceless critters too, just like Sustainable Fawkner…
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