Mapping Lower Molonglo

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Mapping - Ecology

This project aims to raise community awareness of the natural and heritage values in the Lower Molonglo Valley, parts of which are earmarked for urban development.


Molonglo River downstream of Coppins Crossing (photo D. Mur, T. Kabadanis, K. Garcia, C. Buckley)

Inspired and developed by community volunteers from the West Belconnen and Lower Molonglo districts. the Mapping Lower Molonglo project aims to preserve and continually update knowledge of the valley, encouraging local students, community members, present and future residents, educational institutions, planning agencies and businesses to participate while making that knowledge available to the broader community. The grassy woodlands of the Molonglo Valley provide important habitat for birds listed as endangered or vulnerable in the ACT.

An interactive, multi-layered Geographic Information Systems database will be established for local students and the wider community to access and modify, using free public domain software. (See mapping to date and the draft map.) Key features of the database will include gazetted nature reserves, natural watercourses, walking trails, sites of Aboriginal, pioneering and geological significance, native flora and fauna, and urban infrastructure. The ancient Lower Molonglo River Valley in the Australian Capital Territory contains significant topographic, ecological, archaeological and historic features. Previously occupied by the Ngunnawal people, then farmed and mined by European settlers, the valley is undergoing further dramatic change as the ACT’s urban infrastructure expands.

One objective is to engage young people in data research and collection for aspects of the valley where data do not already exist, and to engage them in Geographic Information Systems coursework using the data they collect. Another is to provide a new resource for the Canberra people, visitors and government authorities.

Download brochure (  2,244KB)



Aquila audax -  Wedge-tailed Eagle (Photo: Geoffrey Dabb, courtesy Canberra Ornithologist Group)
The Molonglo Valley has long been known as a “hotspot” for birds of prey, and other unique species so close to a major city, unrivalled by any other major urban centre in the world in its diversity and abundance of birds of prey. The Wedge-tailed Eagle is the largest Australian raptor with a wing span of over two metres. They require a large hunting territory and secluded nesting sites and are very susceptible to disturbance. There are several pairs in the Molonglo Valley. (CCSERAC)



Aprasia parapulchella - pink-tailed worm lizard (Photo courtesy Queanbeyan Landcare) Adult Aprasia parapulchella
Stony hillsides close to the river contain key habitat for the threatened Pink-tailed Worm-lizard, which grows to around 14cm. It is listed as nationally vulnerable and has special protection status in the ACT. Most of the known population of this lizard occurs in the ACT, and much of the known habitat is within the Murrumbidgee and Molonglo river corridors. (CCSERAC)

The logo for this project is a stylised pink-tailed worm-lizard named “Davey”, developed by David Mur from Hawker College.



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Last modified: 27/03/2014