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Yarra Bend Park contains some of the last stands of original bushland in inner Melbourne, with approximately half of the park covered by indigenous vegetation. The park supports around 290 species of indigenous plants and is defined by two broad vegetation groups: Plains Grassy Woodland and Valley Grassy Forest.
Yarra Bend Park contains seven of the state’s threatened flora species: one endangered, three vulnerable and three species suspected of being endangered, vulnerable or rare. In addition, the park has 117 flora species that are recognised as being important in the Melbourne region.
A total of 185 indigenous native fauna species have been recorded within Yarra Bend Park, including:
- 125 species of birds
- 10 mammal species
- 19 species of reptiles
- 15 butterfly species
- 5 amphibian species
- 11 freshwater fish species.
The park contains 13 of Victoria’s 178 threatened fauna species: seven endangered and four vulnerable species. Birds commonly seen in Yarra Bend Park include the Rainbow Lorikeet, Red-Rumped Parrot and on occasions, the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo. Mammals found in the park include echidnas, native water rats and Brush-tail and Ringtail Possums.
Grey-headed Flying-foxes are an important part of Melbourne’s wildlife. They used to roost in the Royal Botanic Gardens but their presence there was not sustainable due to the sensitive nature of the vegetation. The colony was relocated to Yarra Bend Park in 2003. Yarra Bend Park is now the permanent roost site.
The flying-fox colony is best viewed from Yarra Boulevard or Bellbird Picnic Area (Melway Map 44 K3).