Endangered plants and animals cared for by Metro Trains

18 May 2021, James Ireland

Did you know that the Melbourne rail network has 30 biodiversity sites that are home to critically endangered plants and animals?

These sites are cared for by Metro’s Biodiversity team, which ensures these species will be around for future generations.

Known as ‘remnant vegetation’, the site at Diggers Rest is a volcanic plains grassland, which is critically endangered. Only one percent of the original grasslands is left.

The 1,200 square-metre site is home to many critically endangered plants such as the spiny rice flower and arching flax lily, as well as animals such as the growling grass frog, striped legless lizard and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

Biodiversity Manager Neal Masters says these types of grasslands used to stretch from Melbourne to South Australia.

“To end up with small fragments like this, it’s critical we look after them. They are home to such a wide variety of endangered plants – so they are like mini national parks for us.”

Hand-weeding to remove introduced species is a technique used to ensure that native plants thrive.

Metro works closely with Indigenous Australians to understand how best to conduct contained burns, ensuring the plants can grow in the right way, as well as protecting the area from bushfires.

The ABC’s Gardening Australia program visited the Diggers Rest site to see it in full bloom. Watch here.

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