PICTURE: These signs are like identity badges. The creek and her swamp and her wetland now have place names, like those set at a table. The Biddabah Creek Swamp sign (left) and Biddabah Creek Wetland sign (right) will help local and visiting residents appreciate that these are places to be valued and protected – to be cared for. They are public assets serving valuable ecological purposes, such as habitat for waterbirds as pictured below 13 March 2023. Images courtesy: Vina Chubb. March 2023
Creek Catchment Geography Survey
WHAT DO WE KNOW about the creeks and creek catchments, in our neighbourhoods? Do we realise they even exist? How do we interact with them? What role do they play in our busy day-to-day lives?
We would like to know and so … we’ve put together a short survey in an attempt to get a clue about community attitudes in relation to one creek, a wetland site and a swamp area, on the eastern side of Munibung Hill – Biddabah Creek.
Captured on camera
Not much escapes the eagle eyes of Gavin Ord as he treks around Munibung Hill. Writes Gavin:
“I have some interesting results from the Quarry road entrance area. A rabbit, which I knew was in the area with signs increasing all the time.”
“And a very healthy looking swamp wallaby. This is great news after a few loses at the end of last year.”
“Not so good news is a large fox – I believe the numbers must be very high. And a cat. It is unclear weather it is a roaming domestic cat or feral. Both animals seen at night.”
PICTURE:The top stone is a fossil pair of stems, possibly from a Glossopteris – a common overstorey plant during the late Permian Period (265-251 MY). The bottom stone may be leaves. Image credit: Instagram post.
Fossil find on Munibung Hill
“I think the stone depicted at the bottom of the picture might be Gangamopteris but it’s difficult without a more detailed image,” notes Fergus Hancock, a Fluvial Geomorphologist who we asked to comment on this picture. “Remember these flora were very common across the Sydney Basin at the time, growing in peat-like floodplain wetlands that extended across a very wide lowland valley (something like the lower Mississippi around New Orleans).”
“Fossil leaves are common where fresh rock is exposed, for example in and at the base of the cliff line at Sheperds Hill, Dudley, Redhead, Swansea Heads, Catherine Hill Bay for example. Leaves are usually found separate to stems, supporting the idea dominant leaved plants, Glossopteris, Gangamopteris and Palaeo- vittaria were deciduous as south eastern Australia was very close to the south pole at the time.” adds Fergus.
except that it was on the southern end of Munibung Hill – Editor.
Research provides important baseline data
Over the summer vacation three students from the University of Newcastle conducted Summer Scholarship Research Project studies that built on the information gained from similar work in 2022.
Annabel Hanthorn, conducted water quality tests along Biddabah Creek, in the Windross Drive wetland area; Jakob Kadlec, looked into history and story telling knowledge, while Christie Malyon, followed up the 2022 study on bandicoot distribution. Study findings are recorded and released as project reports. These will be important documents as we build a knowledge file about the health or otherwise of water quality and native wildlife at Munibung Hill.
MMM … Issue 37, April – May 2023