Cockatoo Swamp monitoring program

A monitoring program has been designed and implemented to monitor the hydrology and vegetation response to planned capital works by Melbourne Water within the Cockatoo Swamp (Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve). Eucalyptus camphora swamp forests within the swamp provide habitat for the last remaining wild populations of the Helmeted Honeyeater and lowland Leadbeater’s Possum and are currently threatened by altered hydrology. The works, to be implemented in 2017, will include levee bank removals to engage currently disconnected areas of the floodplain, and a pumping trial to aid drainage in areas currently suffering from waterlogging-induced tree dieback. It is expected that the works will lead to an improvement in vegetation condition via a naturalisation of wetting and drying regimes.

The monitoring program includes water level and vegetation condition monitoring. Vegetation attributes being monitored include: individual tree condition (using The Living Murray method), stand condition (via hemispherical photography – see photos to right), seedfall (using funnel traps) and midstorey and understorey vegetation composition (using permanent quadrats). The monitoring program adopts a Before-After-Reference-Impact (BARI) design, with four impact and two reference sites being monitored.

Please contact Joe Greet – – for further information.


Hemispherical photos used to monitor stand condition - photo above was taken at a dieback-affected site; photo below was taken at one of the reference sites.

Hemispherical photos used to monitor stand condition – photos above were taken at a dieback-affected site; photos below were taken at one of the reference sites.