As might be expected in a river basin which passes through three bioregions, there are a large number of fauna species to be found.

Birds alone can demonstrate the large numbers to be found in the Werribee area:

 “Within a 25km radius area just outside Melbourne (a population of 4 million people) live examples of one quarter of all Australia’s bird diversity. That’s an area of only 2000 square kilometres or 0.025% of Australia’s land surface.”
John Barkla BOCA (now Birdlife Australia), http://bird-o.com/2011/12/12/the-challenge-bird-count-a-64-year-legacy/

Excellent descriptions and photographs of a number of birds and other fauna species in the Werribee River catchment, can be found in Melbourne Water’s booklet, “Know Your River – Werribee River”.

In many areas of the river and its catchment, the quality of habitat for these species is not good, due to inappropriate land management practices, and urban development. This has led to some species dying out and there is a danger that in the area many may not survive much longer.

In fact, across the greater Melbourne area:

“Around 340 of the region's flora species and around 200 animal, bird, fish and reptile species are considered under threat of local or total extinction.” http://www.ppwcma.vic.gov.au/our-region.aspx

The Werribee Open Range Zoo has a number of programs focused on threatened species, some of which live in the Werribee River catchment, such as the Growling grass frog and the Orange-bellied parrot.    www.zoo.org.au/habitat-protection

Werribee River Association has adopted the platypus as its logo, and if we can ensure that iconic creature survives, then we will also protect many other species.

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