The river in the lower Maribyrnong Valley estuary used to flood regularly reviving and nourishing associated wetlands. Since European settlement the floodplain and the river have been substantially altered. Wetlands have been drained or filled and covered with a variety of housing and industrial sites, sporting facilities and parks. In some areas levee banks have been built to keep out floodwaters. Most of the vegetation has been cleared, including from the water’s edge, and the river banks have been lined with bluestone boulders. Snags have been removed from the water and pollution has proceeded, albeit much reduced from earlier eras. The wetlands on the floodplain have virtually all disappeared except for several small features, at Pipemakers Park, Newells Paddock and Delfin/Edgewater, all recreated in relatively recent times.

Essentially the natural environment has been simplified in ecological terms as habitats have been modified or removed, and in addition built structures and exotic vegetation have come to dominate. In spite of these changes a large variety of native wildlife can be found within the river, on its banks, in its wetlands and on the surrounding floodplain and urban areas.


Click on the image to find out more about each of the animals in this panel.



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