Bababi Marning (Cooper Street) Grassland Nature Conservation Reserve

Images ©:
©Alison Farrar
Area Data

Bordering the Merri Creek and now surrounded by industrial uses, the reserve supports large areas of Plains Grassland and patches of Red Gum Plains Grassy Woodland. Along the Merri Creek are stands of Woolly Tea-tree, Riparian Scrub and Escarpment Shrublands. Bababi Marning (Cooper Street) Grassland Nature Conservation Reserve is an important part of the larger Merri Creek Marran Baba Parklands which is a critical biodiversity corridor through Melbourne's northen suburbs from Mt Ridley all the way to Yarra Bend Park 


Between Cooper Street, Metrolink Circuit and Merri Creek in the northern Melbourne suburb of Campbellfield


None apart from a pedestrian path connecting the southern section of the reserve to Whittlesea Public Gardens on the east side of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Parklands to the south.

53 ha
Rural City of Murray Bridge
Parks Victoria

For more information on the site please contact , or call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or visit


In 1990 the Victorian Department of Conservation and Environment listed Cooper Street Grassland as one of eight highly significant grasslands in the Melbourne area in private ownership. It recommended investigating its purchase by the government and reservation for conservation. A small section (22 ha) was subsequently acquired by the state government as a Crown Land Reserve and is managed for conservation. A further 21 ha was added to the reserve in compensation for construction of the Craigieburn Bypass, and the Merri Creek frontage was transferred to Crown Land as part of a deal with the Istra Social Club which owned it as part of the title to their Clubroom area.

Approximately 40 ha of the grassland was lost in 2007-8 to industrial development.


Bababi Marning (Cooper Street) Grassland Nature Conservation Reserve has a high degree of habitat variation and is of State to National significance for its flora and fauna and has Plains Grassland, a relatively intact Brown-back Wallaby-grass seasonal wetland, Escarpment Shrubland and Riparian Scrub. The Woolly Tea-tree riparian scrub is considered to be the most intact in northeastern Melbourne. The endangered Amphibromus pithogastris was present at the site but located in the area now under development. The rare species Agrostis aemula var. setifolia is also present. In terms of fauna, the Cooper Street site is considered to be of State significance due to the presence of the nationally significant Golden Sun Moth, Growling Grass Frog and Striped Legless Lizard, also Swift Parrots have been sighted at the southern end of the grassland. 

Management activities and priorities 

Weed control, biomass reduction

Local Requests 

No dogs 

Flora Species 

Acaena echinata, Agrostis capillaris, Aira caryophyllea, Aira elegantissima, Elymus scabra, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Asperula conferta, Atriplex semibaccata, Austrostipa spp., Avena spp., Brassica fruticulosa, Briza maxima, Briza minor, Bromus hordeaceus, Calocephalus citreus, Carex breviculmis, Carthamus lanatus, Centaurium tenuiflorum, Chrysanthemoides monilifera, Cirsium vulgare, Convolvulus angustissimus, Conyza sumatrensis, Crataegus monogyna, Cynara cardunculus, Cynosurus echinatus, Dactylis glomerata, Dianella admixta, Dichelachne crinita, Dichelachne micrantha, Echium plantagineum, Einadia nutans, Erodium crinitum, Epilobium hirtigerum, Erodium spp., Eryngium ovinum, Eryngium vesiculosum, Foeniculum vulgare, Galenia pubescens, Gamochaeta purpurea, Geranium spp., Haloragis heterophylla, Helminthotheca echioides, Holcus lanatus, Hypericum gramineum, Hypochaeris radicata, Juncus amabilis, Juncus radula, Lachnagrostis aemula, Lactuca serriola, Leontodon saxatilis subsp. saxatilis, Leptorhynchos tenuifolius, Linum trigynum, Lolium perenne, Lomandra filiformis, Lomandra nana, Microlaena stipoides, Nassella hyalina, Nassella trichotoma, Paspalum dilatatum, Phalaris aquatica, Plantago coronopus, Plantago lanceolata, Poa labillardierei, Poa rodwayi, Poa sieberiana, Romulea rosea, Rosa rubiginosa, Rumex conglomeratus, Rumex dumosus, Rytidosperma spp., Schoenus apogon, Senecio hispidulus, Senecio quadridentatus, Sonchus asper, Sonchus oleraceus, Themeda triandra, Trifolium angustifolium, Veronica gracilis, Vicia sativa, Vulpia bromoides.

Fauna Species 

92 native fauna species have been recorded. This included 70 birds, 3 mammals and 19 frogs and reptiles.
Birds – Spotted Harrier, Swift Parrot, Whistling Kite, Rufous Songlark, Banded Lapwing, Australian Hobby, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Long-billed Corella, Brown Songlark, Singing Bushlark, Black-shouldered Kite, Banded Lapwing, Musk Lorikeet, Eastern Rosella, Tawny Frogmouth, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Tree Martin, Grey Shrike-thrush, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Dusky Woodswallow, Mistletoebird, Striated Pardalote, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Raven
Mammals – Black Wallaby, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Water-rat
Reptiles – Striped Legless Lizard, Red-bellied Black Snake, Common Long-necked Tortoise, Large Striped Skink, Cunningham Skink, Little Whip Snake, Tussock Skink, Common Blue-tongue Lizard, Eastern Three-lined Skink, Eastern Water Skink, Eastern Brown Snake, Lowland Copperhead
Frogs – Growling Grass Frog, Bibron’s Toadlet, Common Eastern Froglet, Southern Bullfrog, Spotted Marsh Frog, Southern Brown Tree Frog