Try spotting a quenda in their natural surroundings
Urban sprawl pushes our ever widening city further into the natural environment around us. It is important that we retain pockets of the original bushland and preserve the landscape for a practical function - both for people and the local flora and fauna.
One such area that has been protected is the Bull Creek Wetlands. Tucked between the suburbs of Bull Creek and Bateman, this small sliver of bush comprises of 11 square kilometres of low lying lands. It serves as a runoff and catchment area for water draining from roads, gardens and lawns - effectively stopping pollutants from reaching the Canning River.
This area was extensively cleared for farming in the 1800s and later on the housing developers moved in. The remnants of the original vegetation remain and form an 'L' shaped series of reserves that include Brockman Park, Bull Creek Park, Reg Bourke Reserve, Richard Lewis Park and Bateman Park. Water is discharged into the Canning River at the mouth of Bull Creek at Bateman Park.
The area has been left unmanaged for many years, until now. The 'Friends of Bull Creek Catchment' have done an amazing job revitalising the area. They have cleared the creek of blackberry bushes and non-native plants and have also been involved with re-planting approximately 4000 trees and shrubs. The fruits of their labour are certainly showing as the area is bouncing back with amazing resilience and has almost been returned to its original state.
Even though the area seems small, it is abundant with flora, birdlife and surprisingly some fauna as well. This time of year the wildflowers in this area are beautiful and although many are small and well hidden, some gems await a keen eye. Kangaroo paws and orchids, bottlebrush and paperbarks abound, and although some species you will see aren't native to the area, they still put on a colourful show.
The tracks around the area will lead you down to the creek which holds gilgies and freshwater mussels, both a good indicator of water quality. Ducks nest here as well and the trees above hold many different species of native birdlife.
I have been told that there are two families of quendas that inhabit this area but although I didn't see them during my visit, there are plenty of fresh diggings around so if you are patient and quiet you may just get lucky and spot one of these elusive creatures.
There are only dirt tracks in the area, so it could be hard going for bikes. Maybe go for a walk there first and see what you think. Don't think they'd want the natural vegetation damaged, so if you do ride it, be careful :)