Devilbend Natural Features Reserve
Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is a 1,005 ha (2,480 acres) park on the Mornington Peninsula 55 km (34 mi) 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.
The smaller Bittern Reservoir, with a capacity of 573 ML (20.2×106 cu ft), was built in the 1930s and Devilbend Reservoir, with a capacity of 14,600 ML (520×106 cu ft), in the 1960s, being opened in 1965. The Devilbend Reservoir is the largest freshwater body in the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. 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.
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. Other sizeable fragments of bushland remaining on the Peninsula are at Point Nepean (333 ha (820 acres)), Green’s Bush (1,100 ha (2,700 acres)) and HMAS Cerberus (1,700 ha (4,200 acres)).
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. The 243 ha (600 acres) 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. 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.
- Anon (2010). Devilbend Natural Features Reserve, Management Plan (PDF). Melbourne: Parks Victoria. ISBN 978-0-7311-8385-2.
- "Recent Conditions and Happenings in Rural Areas: Agricultural". Weekly Times (3434). Victoria, Australia. 22 July 1933. p. 52 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved 5 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia., ...An application for £10,000 will be made to make an open cut from Bittern Reservoir, now being constructed, to Dromana, 15 miles away...
- "COUNTRY SECTION". The Age (24, 562). Victoria, Australia. 2 January 1934. p. 10. Retrieved 5 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "PENINSULA WATER Position Alarming". The Argus (Melbourne) (28, 863). Victoria, Australia. 23 February 1939. p. 9. Retrieved 5 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia., ...Already the Bittern reservoir had been completed...
- "Devilbend Reservoir and Environs". National Trust of Australia - Victoria. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
- "IBA: Devilbend Reservoir". Birdata. Birds Australia. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-06-17.