Project: Barrabool Wetlands for Koalas

barrabool wetlands for koalas


“A cattle farm with a cleared creek and a chain of muddy dams meets a farmer with a vision for biodiverse wetlands, and a red gum-lined creek, full of birds, wallabies and a koala or two. But where to start? Call Koala Clancy Foundation – this is what we love to do.”

Janine Duffy, President Koala Clancy Foundation

Location: Gnarwarre, Barrabool Hills VIC

Status: Confirmed

Seeking funding for part/all? Thankyou to ANL Shipping/CMA-GGM for funding this project in 2024.

Number of trees/shrubs: 5700 in 2024




A beautiful creek near the Barwon River was completely cleared of its native vegetation in the distant past, and reduced to a chain of muddy dams and grass. Then in 2017 new owners bought the large property, and beside farming cattle, they wanted to make a home for wildlife.

They had a vision of a chain of wetlands, some shallow, some deep, surrounded by River Red Gums, tea-trees and bottlebrushes and native water plants. In time frogs and birds will sing and breed in the wetland, Swamp Wallabies will feast on the bushes, and koalas will eat the Red Gums.

With sensitive revegetation, and protective fencing, this beautiful creek will live again and may provide homes for endangered Growling Grass frogs, snakes and lizards, fairy-wrens, White-fronted Chats and Little Grassbirds. Vulnerable Brolgas and near-threatened Latham’s Snipe may even visit.

June 2022: the creek, ready for planting



Number of trees/shrubs: 1859

Size of planting site: hectares

2023 Project supported by: Fifteen Trees and Rotary Club of Highton

Progress Report:

2022 planting:

Number of trees/shrubs: 5411

Size of planting site: 6.14 hectares

2022 Project supported by: Koala Clancy Foundation, Hidden Secrets Tours and One Tree Planted.

Progress Report: In July 2023 many of the eucalypts were thriving, but some plants were lost along the creek where the water level had remained high for months in October, November 2022.


What species will we plant:

Note: species shown in bold are the dominant plants that we planted in high proportion.

Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata
Late Black Wattle Acacia mearnsii
Blackwood Acacia melanoxylon
River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Swamp Gum E. ovata
Manna Gum E. viminalis
Lightwood Acacia implexa
Wirilda Acacia retinoides
Black Sheoak Allocasuarina littoralis
Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata
Sweet Bursaria Bursaria spinosa
River Bottlebrush Callistemon sieberi
Giant Hop Bush Dodonea viscosa
Prickly Tea-tree Leptospermum continentale
Woolly Tea-tree Leptospermum lanigerum
Tree Violet Melicytus dentatus
Gold-dust Wattle Acacia acinacea
Berry Saltbush Atriplex semibaccata
Golden Daisy Brachyscome dentata
Cut-leaf Daisy Brachyscome multifida
Lemon Beauty Heads Calocephalus citreus
Milky Beauty-heads Calocephalus lacteus
Common Everlasting Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Clustered Everlasting Chrysocephalum semipapposum
Button Everlasting Coronidium scorpoides (Helichrysum)
Common Billy Buttons Craspedia variabilis
Smooth Flax-lily Dianella longifolia
Nodding Saltbush Einadia nutans
Ruby Saltbush Enchylaena tomentosa
Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata
Scaly Buttons Leptorhynchos squamatus
Wiry Buttons Leptorhynchos tenuifolius
Spiny-head mat-rush Lomandra longifolia
Tangled Lignum Muehlenbeckia cunnninghamii
Grey Everlasting Ozothamnus obcordatus
Showy Podopelis Podolepis jaceoides/linearfolia
Woolly New Holland Daisy Vittadinia gracilis

June 2022: Corporate group from Moose Toys planting

What & who will benefit?

Latham’s Snipe

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A migratory shorebird that travels between North Asia and Australia every year. Has been seen occasionally at nearby Lake Modewarre. Learn more:


Conservation Status: Vulnerable.

A very large crane that needs peaceful wetland areas free of livestock to breed. They are seen occasionally at nearby Lake Modewarre, and are known throughout the area, though sightings are declining. Learn more:

Growling Grass Frog

Conservation Status: Endangered.

A once-common large green frog that is now rare. They have been heard on the property in the past. Learn more:


Conservation Status: Endangered in north, probably Vulnerable in Vic

Though koalas are now rare in the Barrabool Hills, this property has trees that show signs of recent use by koalas. Expanding the koala habitat significantly will have immediate positive effect on this struggling population.


Once revegetated, the owners will welcome school groups and interested members of the public to view the wetlands.


What’s exciting about this:

The owners have invested in a “wetland artist” to create the chain of ephemeral and permanent wetlands. This specialist contractor designed the site, dug the holes to different depths for the maximum biodiversity benefit, and then spread local topsoil over the whole site.

The owners secured some very large fallen timber to serve as wildlife habitat, and placed it on the site.

Koala Clancy Foundation are in charge of the land-based revegetation. A natural-looking ecosystem is being created, with all local indigenous plants specially selected for this site.

Opportunities are still available to become involved with this project as a funding partner. Contact

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