John Colahan Griffin

Last updated: Wednesday 11 May, 2016
A map showing the location of John Colahan Griffin reserve in Victoria.

Established: 2011
Area: 96 ha
Location: 185km NW of Melbourne

Detailed map >

Visiting JC Griffin >

John Griffin wanted to leave a legacy for future generations. The John Colahan Griffin Nature Reserve is that special gift – an ancient woodland haven for bushland birds that are declining across Victoria. A home for endangered reptiles and mammals. A place where rare and beautiful plants such as the Red-cross Spider Orchid can thrive.

In October 2011, John Griffin's family and friends gathered to experience John's gift. After two years of discussions and meticulous planning, the family had decided that preserving this precious area of bushland was the perfect way to honour the last wishes of their father, uncle and friend.

A Lace Monitor or tree goanna. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
A Lace Monitor or tree goanna. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
"It was just terrific for us to see the reserve," says John's daughter Sally. "It was a joyous occasion, with good people, memories and conversation. The birdsong was melodious and noisy in that marvellous raucous way... we had birds – cockatoos and galahs – flying overhead."

In the video below Regional Reserve Manager Jeroen van Veen and Ecologist Paul Foreman explain the importance of the reserve for flora and fauna in central Victoria.

Old-growth woodlands

Most of the ancient woodlands of central Victoria were cleared during the early days of settlement. Remarkably few places retain their original trees. Much of the box and iron-bark dominated woodlands and forests that remain are regrowth.

A Swift Parrot. Photo Chris Tzaros.
A Swift Parrot. Photo Chris Tzaros.
This is why the John Colahan Griffin Nature Reserve is so unique and important. It's never been cleared and retains exceptional stands of very old trees, including Long-leaved Box and Yellow Gum. Some of these are truly gigantic and may be over 300 years old.

Large trees with hollows provide important nesting sites for birds such as parrots and owls, and for mammals such as Brush-tailed Phascogales. The endangered Swift Parrot frequents this region and relies on the prolific nectar production of large trees. Recent records of species such as the Powerful Owl and Koala indicate that there are many exciting discoveries to come.

The John Colahan Griffin Nature Reserve sits strategically between St Arnaud National Park and the Dalyenong Nature Conservation Reserve. Along with neighbouring properties, many of which also have large old trees, the property plays an important role in allowing wildlife such as Lace Monitors, small mammals and woodland birds to move through the landscape.

What we’re doing

Jeroen van Veen and Jen Grindrod among the woodlands at JC Griffin. Photo Matthew Newton.
Jeroen van Veen and Jen Grindrod among the woodlands at JC Griffin. Photo Matthew Newton.
The bushland of the JC Griffin Reserve is in exceptionally good condition. Rabbits and invasion by pastoral weeds are threats that we must manage to ensure its conservation values are protected.

The reserve is one piece in a wider landscape mosaic that's owned and managed by many different groups and individuals.

The rare Red-cross Spider Orchid on JC Griffin. Photo Matthew Newton.
The rare Red-cross Spider Orchid on JC Griffin. Photo Matthew Newton.
As a member of the Kara Kara Conservation Management Network, we're working with neighbours, other non-government organisations and government departments to ensure our conservation efforts are successful both on the reserve and in the wider landscape.

Orchids in need

Rare orchid species are found on the reserve and on nearby Nardoo Hills. Many of these, such as the Red-cross Spider Orchid and Stuart Mill Spider Orchid, occur in low numbers in isolated populations.

We're working with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment to develop and implemented management plans tailored to the needs of each species and population.

Protect Hamelin Station
Leave a legacy