Montrose Victoria Australia. Population approximately 7000.
Latitude 37 degrees 49 minutes, longitude 145 degrees 25 minutes. Located at the foot of Mt Dandenong at 233 metres elevation and 33 Km from central Melbourne.
The regional climate is Temperate Mesothermal and in botanical terms often described as Mediterranean. However the influence of Port Phillip Bay and prevailing pressure patterns provide a more Maritime climate for significant periods. Due to the influence of the Dandenong Ranges, rainfall in Montrose, at an annual average of 717 mm, is significantly higher than central Melbourne and increases rapidly on the higher slopes of Mt Dandenong to approximately 1100 mm. Records 1988 to 2012 from a private residence on the North facing lower slopes of Mt Dandenong follow. Lowest recorded overnight temperature 0.5 deg C. Highest recorded day temperature 48.3 deg C, (in the extreme heat wave of January 2009), previous high recorded 45.2 deg C. The annual mean average day maximum temperature is approximately 20 degrees C. Lowest annual rainfall 633 mm, highest annual rainfall 1,559 mm.
Study Area. All observations and photographs have been taken within 3 Km of the Montrose township between 1988 to 2012 at elevations from 250 metres to 630 metres, predominantly on a private natural bush residence adjacent to the Dandenong Ranges National Park and within the National Park. The area is predominantly dry sclerophyll forest dominated by Red Sringybark (Eucalyptus macrorhyncha) and Long-leaved Box (Eucalyptus goniocalyx), with a sparse understorey of Exocarpos, shrubs, sedges and grasses. There are several wetter gullies within the study area with tall stands of Mountain Grey Gum (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa), Messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua) and Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), with a dense understorey of acacias, tree ferns and shrubs.
Mt Dandenong is the remnant neck of a Devonian volcano and composed of Dacite and Rhyodacite. Soils are generally poor, thin and subject to rapid drying during hot weather. The Dandenong Ranges are prone to bushfire's and frequently subject to controlled fuel reduction burns.
Given that Montrose is located on the fringe of a City of more than 3 million people, the diversity of fauna and flora is remarkable.