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Woodlands at J.C. Griffin Reserve. Photo Matthew Newton.
Woodlands at J.C. Griffin Reserve. Photo Matthew Newton.

John Colahan Griffin




96 ha


185km NW of Melbourne

Traditional Custodians:

Dja Dja Wurrung people (Djaara)

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, the reserve is also a home for endangered reptiles and mammals and a place where rare and beautiful plants such as the Stuart Mill Spider Orchid can thrive.

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

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.

Old-growth woodland at dusk. Photo Matthew Newton.

The 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, it plays an important role in allowing wildlife such as Lace Monitors, small mammals and woodland birds to move through the landscape.

All this is protected thanks to our generous supporters.

Lace Monitor up a tree. Photo Jeroen van Veen.

What JC Griffin Reserve protects

Animals: Swift Parrot (nationally endangered), Lace Monitor (endangered in Victoria), Crested Shrike-tit, Diamond Firetail (threatened in Victoria), Hooded Robin (threatened in Victoria), Black-chinned Honeyeater.

Plants: Yellow Box, Red-cross Spider-orchid (endangered in Victoria), Stuart Mill Spider-orchid (endangered in Victoria), Southern Swainson Pea, Old growth Long-leaved Box, Old growth Yellow Gum, Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea glauca subsp. angustifolia - critically endangered in Victoria).

Vegetation communities: Grassy woodland (vulnerable), Box and Ironbark forest (depleted), and Heathy dry forest (depleted).

What we’re doing

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. 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.

A Swift Parrot. Photo Chris Tzaros.

Rare orchids

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 implement management plans tailored to the needs of each species and population.

Red Cross Spider Orchid. Photo Matthew Newton.

Species at JC Griffin


Stories from JC Griffin

Bush Broadcast 'Deep Dive'


Hollow dependent fauna at Bush Heritage Victorian reserves

Check out our Bush Broadcast 'Deep Dive' webinar, where we explore the world of 'Hollow dependent fauna at Bush Heritage Victorian reserves'.

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BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

Our future in the field

Hayley Sime began her relationship with Bush Heritage wearing a ‘volunteer’ hat, but these days her hat rack is crowded – it now includes botanist, intern and strategic planner, such is the nature of collaborating with Bush Heritage.

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BUSHTRACKS 20/06/2018

Orchid rescue

Some may call them fickle, but Julie Radford sees native orchids as sentinels of an unseen world and reminders of a delicate web.

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BLOG 30/07/2014

Orchids replanted at JC Griffin Reserve

On the 22nd of July a small group of orchid conservationists planted the Stuart Mill Spider Orchid (Caladenia cretacea) back into the John Colahan Griffin reserve in Victoria. It was a spectacular day for planting 32 baby orchids to complement the 12 specimens already recorded on the reserve.

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