The Co-operative is an area of exceptional Biodiversity. The 1st paragraph of Ecological Perspective’s 2013 Report clearly defines this: -
The Round the Bend Conservation Co-operative (RTBCC) is a unique residential conservation co-operative that lies within the Bend of Islands (BoI), Victoria. Land owned by the RTBCC is characterised by large areas of contiguous remnant bushland, which is considered high quality, in both a local and regional context. The site is recognised as a DSE BioSite of state significance (BioSite Number 4706) (DSE, 2012a), and is considered to make a high contribution to protecting the strategic natural values of the state (DSE, 2011b). It is also nominated as a site of state faunal significance (Site 60 – Round the Bend Cooperative – Maroondah Aqueduct), in addition to providing habitat connectivity between Warrandyte State Park and Kinglake National Park (Beardsell, 1997).
The Cooperative consists of a range of vegetation communities and a rich diversity of flora, particularly orchids. This diverse flora creates a variety of habitats.
Six Ecological Vegetation Communities (EVCs), including some with a high conservation status (marked*), have been identified on the Cooperative. They are:
Box Ironbark Forest*
Creekline Herb-rich Woodland*
Grassy Dry Forest
Herb-rich Foothill Forest
Valley Grassy Forest*
Four common EVCs within the Cooperative are:
Box Ironbark Forest is widespread and consists of tall open forests with Red Ironbark and Red Box, and a diverse understorey of small and large Wattles, Parrot-peas and Wallaby Grasses.
Creekline Herb-rich Woodland is found along gully lines and is characterised by Swamp Gum, Yellow Box, Narrow-leaf Peppermint, Messmate and Candlebark with shrubs including Prickly Moses, Blackwood, Sweet Bursaria and Snowy Daisybush with a range of herbs, grasses and sedges.
Grassy Dry Forest is widespread and characterised by Red Box, Red Stringybark, Longleaved Box (Bundy) and a shrub layer of Golden and Black Wattles, Cherry Ballart, Spreading and Gold-dust Wattles. Common Beard-heath, Sundews and a variety of orchids are commonly found in the understorey.
Riparian Forest occurs in areas along Stevenson Creek. Tall stands of Manna Gum, Swamp Gum and Messmate occur with an understorey of Hop Goodenia and Pomaderris species, along with reeds, ferns and sedges.
Much of the property is remarkably free of noxious and environmental weeds due to the concerted and ongoing weed control program employed by members since 1971.
This program has developed into a comprehensive Flora Management Strategy that enables us to confidently target all practical aspects of protection and enhancement of the Flora, in the knowledge that we are making the best use of the limited resources available to us.
The Co-operative has a large population of Hibbertia porcata (Christmas Guinea-ﬂower).
This is the major population of the two currently known populations within Victoria; both in Nillumbik Shire.
Practical steps to protect and increase the occurrence of this iconic species on the Cooperative have been implemented as part of our overall Flora Management Strategy
The high biodiversity of the Cooperative makes it appropriate for Nillumbik’s Threatened Orchid Reintroduction Program.
The Wine-lipped Spider Orchid Caladenia oenochila was reintroduced on the Co-op in 2018, as part of this program.