Friends of Monbulk Creek - Selby Conservation Reserve

Monthly Working Bees,          Location and BioRegion

Funding Sources,                   Actvities

Fauna,    Flora,                        Geology,  EVCs,         

Site Values and Significance,  References

Monthly Working Bees

Friends of Selby Conservation Reserve meets once a month on the 4th Sunday of the month 10 am to 12pm for volunteers to weed, walk and enjoy being in great outdoors. Tools are provided and funded by Vic Parks Grants, all that is required is appropriate clothing and be ready to care, have a laugh while learning and working. We are targeting the eradication of ivy at this stage.

Location and Bioregion

Selby Conservation Reserve is located between Belgrave and Belgrave Sth off Belgrave Hallam Road. The reserve occupies the major part of a creek valley and features a small number of tributaries that form part of the Monbulk Creek catchment, which is part of the greater Dandenong Creek/Port Philip Bay Catchment system. The Bioregion in which this site is situated is the Highlands Southern Fall.

From a regional perspective , the reserve forms part of a significant landscape and wildlife corridor link to Black Hill/Muddy Creek catchment which forms part of the greater Western Port catchment system.

Funding Sources

There has been funding provided from (council weed program?). Selby Conservation Reserve is Vic Parks public land. They have provided support over the last four years with monitoring the weed outbreaks and keeping in contact with progress and updates.

Activities

Our Friends Group was also involved with Field Naturalists in the Reserve.

We spent a beautiful evening on a spotlight walk and a bat trapping program with Harp nets early this year (2013). We returned in the wee hours of the morning to count and release the bats that were trapped.

It was lovely to see the small and furry forest bats plus listen and to be lucky enough watch to the juvenile Powerful Owls returning to their roost with their parents. They have a very shrill twittering noise that is not easy to miss.

Fauna and their Threats

We do have trouble with fox populations and local cats in the reserve. It is sad to think that over 16 years ago there was abundant population of the Southern Long Nose Bandicoot. There may still be a small population around. We are awaiting the analyst results of three owl pellets and two fox scats. Maybe they will find signs of bandicoots and antechinus?

Flora

The Selby Conservation Reserve is also the home to the rare and threatened Yellow Star bush Asterolasia asteriscophora ssp. Albiflora The reserve is one of the very special areas that we are so very blessed to be surrounded by in the Dandenongs that needs a little bit of care & respect that it deserves.

Geology

The Reserve is distinctive in terms of its geology and features a portion of the Selby fault which separates the two main geologies for the region namely Devonian Rhyodacite and Granidiorite. The significance of this feature is further reflected in the mosaic of vegetation present. This comprises several associated EVC’S which are otherwise influenced by the underlying geology and associated soil types, as well as variation in aspect and slope. These reflect the geological interface of the two distinct geologies for the region. The site features part of the Selby Fault which is considered to be of regional significance (Berger, A.R. 1961)

Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC’s)

A total of 6 Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC’s) are recorded as present within or immediately adjacent to the reserve (Oates, A & Taronato, M, 2001) These include: Damp Forest (EVC 29) Grassy Dry Forest (EVC 22) Lowland Forest (EVC23) Grassy Forest (EVC 128) Damp Heathy Woodland (EVC 128)

Two of EVC’s present are considered to be of Bioregional significance with Grassy Forest listed as Vulnerable and Damp Heathy Woodland as Depleted (DSE Biomaps 2004) • The remaining EVC’s are generally in good to excellent condition with low to moderate level of weed invasion and disturbance noted. As such, these areas are important representative examples of these EVC’s which have othersise been degraded or modified due to the associated impacts of urban development and weed and pest animal invasion.

The overall quality and condition of the vegetation present is moderate to very high, with relatively small number of weeds of variable density and distribution throught. Primary concerns are related to edge impacts associated with residential development along part of the Northern and Western boundaries, as will as urban runoff impacting on streams.

SITE VALUES and SIGNIFICANCE

 Selby Conservation Reserve has a number of values which to date have been poorly documented or otherwise recognised. Summery key values are as follows. • The reserve occupies a major part of the creek catchment and is representative of one of the few examples of comparatively intact and contiguous vegetation for this part of the Dandenongs, and is integral to the landscape values and significance of this area.

References

  1. Berger, AR (1961) studies on dacite-granodiorite contact relationship in the Dandenong Ranges and Warburton areas, Vict. M.Sc.thesis (unpub) Geol. Dept., Univ. Of Melb. Singleton 1973 DSE
  2. Biomaps for Port Philip and Westerport Catchment ( 2004)
  3. Oates A. & Taranto M 2001 Vegetation Mapping of the Port Phillip and Westernport Region 
  4. Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, DNRE.
  5. Notes Prepared by DARCY DUGGAN , Local Naturalist and Environmental Consultant. Bushland Management Services.