Billabong Renewal

Dandenong Creek once took a windy and sinuous path across the floodplains of Bayswater. In 1967, the former Dandenong Valley Authority attempted to control flooding by straightening the creek.

However, this also resulted in the loss of billabongs along the creek. These are important habitats for native fish, frogs, water bugs and birds, as they hold water for extended periods.

There is still evidence of the old creek bed and adjacent billabongs today, often as wet, marshy or low-lying areas.

Melbourne Water has worked with Maroondah and Knox Councils to improve the biodiversity by enhancing remnant billabongs in the landscape.

Managing frog populations and raising awareness of waterway health issues

Over the past year, First Friends of Dandenong Creek and the Living Links program have been using our Frog Census app to conduct frog census monitoring. And the results speak for themselves.

In just one year, these frog champions collected over twice as much frog data than the amount collected over the previous 20 years!

This massive increase in data allows Melbourne Water to better understand what species are likely to colonise our recently completed billabong enhancement and creek daylighting works. It also shows how useful the frog census app has been as a tool of identification; regular frog monitoring has not only allowed the Friends to identify frog hotspots in their area and build their on-ground knowledge of key habitats. There has also been a noticeable improvement in report accuracy.

map of frog sightings

Frog sightings along Dandenong Creek, 2017-18.

The 197 frog reports submitted show an extended distribution for some species (Vic Smooth Frog, Striped Marsh Frog) and the appearance of new species (Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog). Other species include the Spotted Marsh Frog, Eastern Common Froglet, Southern Brown Tree Frog, and the Eastern Banjo Frog.

Take a closer look at the frogs that inhabit Dandenong Creek

Photography: Peter Robertson

Become a frog champion

Would you like to become a frog champion? Download the Frog Census app to collect important data that will help us manage frog populations and raise awareness of waterway health issues.

Find out more about the Frog Census at: melbournewater.com.au/frogcensus