Devilbend Natural Features Reserve

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The reserve contains the only nesting site of the White-bellied Sea Eagle on the Mornington Peninsula
The reserve is an important seasonal site for Blue-billed Ducks

Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is a 1,057 ha park on the Mornington Peninsula 55 km south-east of Melbourne, Australia, between Hastings and Mount Martha in the traditional country of the Bunurong people. It contains two decommissioned water-supply reservoirs, Devilbend and Bittern, which were the original reason the land now in the park was not developed and was protected from general public access.[1]

History[edit]

The smaller Bittern Reservoir, with a capacity of 573 ML, was commissioned in the 1920s and Devilbend Reservoir, with a capacity of 14,600 ML, in the 1960s, being opened in 1965. The Devilbend Reservoir is the largest freshwater body in the Shire of Mornington Peninsula.[2] The two reservoirs provided backup drinking water to the Peninsula until they were made redundant in December 2000 by the completion of a water pipeline between the Cardinia Reservoir and Pearcedale. In September 2006, most of the Devilbend reserve land was transferred to the Crown with the Devilbend Natural Features Reserve being gazetted on 8 March 2007.[1]

Environment[edit]

Much of the Mornington Peninsula's native bushland has been cleared, and it is estimated that less than 5% of the original habitat remains. Devilbend is one of just a few sites on the Peninsula containing significant areas of remnant native vegetation. Over 200 species of indigenous plants have been recorded in and around the reserve, including trees, shrubs, ground plants, aquatics, orchids and their associated communities.[2] Other sizeable fragments of bushland remaining on the Peninsula are at Point Nepean (333 ha), Green’s Bush (1100 ha) and HMAS Cerberus (1700 ha).

Past restrictions on public access to the Devilbend reserve have created favourable conditions for wildlife, as shown by large numbers of waterbirds and frogs recorded there.[2] The 243 ha Devilbend Reservoir has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it supports, seasonally, over 1% of the global population of the near-threatened Blue-billed Duck.[3] The reserve also contains the only nesting site of the White-bellied Sea Eagle on the Mornington Peninsula. The Growling Grass Frog and Dwarf Galaxias have been recorded in the reserve.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Anon (2010). Devilbend Natural Features Reserve, Management Plan. Melbourne: Parks Victoria. ISBN 978-0-7311-8385-2. 
  2. ^ a b c "Devilbend Reservoir and Environs". National Trust of Australia - Victoria. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 
  3. ^ "IBA: Devilbend Reservoir". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 

Coordinates: 38°17′15″S 145°06′16″E / 38.2876°S 145.1044°E / -38.2876; 145.1044