Aurora is a large residential development in Epping North, approximately 20 kilometres north of the Melbourne central business district. One of the interesting features of Aurora is that it provides for the construction of a series of purpose-built frog habitat ponds and wetland areas. The ponds are located along Edgars Creek and are designed specifically as habitat for the Growling Grass Frog (a threatened species listed under the EPBC Act).
The first two habitat ponds were completed in September 2009. Having allowed the vegetation and habitat areas around the ponds to properly establish, a salvage and relocation program commenced recently relocating tadpoles from a nearby farm dam to the new ponds. Early monitoring suggests that the relocation program has been successful and that the tadpoles are adapting well. Encouragingly, other frogs have found the ponds on their own and have settled there also.
With other frog populations in Melbourne dwindling, the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities will be watching the Aurora frog ponds with much interest. We are all hoping that the frogs continue to settle in and enjoy their new home!
A total of sixteen ponds will eventually be built at Aurora and will be connected as part of a linear habitat corridor along Edgars Creek.
Collie has been providing planning advice and services to VicUrban in relation to the Aurora development for a number of years. For more information about the frog ponds, or about Aurora generally, contact Aran Barker on +61 3 8698 9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org