Mitchell Creek is the natural drainage system for the Palmerston Escarpment to the east of the city centre.

It extends north of the Stuart Highway and East to Fellows Road and discharges into the Elizabeth River and is the only creek in Palmerston with a defined channel.

It is also home to two significant plant species - eucalyptus atrovirens and typhonium praetermissum. 

Facts

  • 20km long including tributaries.
  • Area of the catchment is 1,573 hectares.
  • Natural drainage system that drains the Escarpment to the east of the City Centre. It extends north of the Stuart Highway and East to Fellows Road and discharges into the Elizabeth River.
  • 14 vegetation communities have been identified within the catchment.

Flora

Fourteen vegetation communities have been identified within the catchment of which 9 occur within the proposed reserve.

Natural habitats within the catchment range from mangrove forest & tidal salt flats, Eucalyptus woodlands, riparian monsoon forest to unusual plant communities that occur along the ridges and Escarpment slopes.

Two species of significance.

Fauna

158 vertebrate fauna species have been recorded from the catchment.

Comprising of:

  • 8 frog species
  • 34 reptile species
  • 102 bird species
  • 14 mammal species

Mitchell Creek catchment shares the highest richness of reptile and mammal species with Howard Springs in the greater Darwin region. The level of species richness neighbouring a municipality is rare in the region. Highest number of reptile species known for the greater Darwin conservation reserve shared only with Howard Springs Nature Park. Nine of the species of reptile recorded are not known from the conservation reserves of the greater Darwin region. Rapid development will place ever-increasing pressure on the natural resources of the area and some form of protection is required to maintain these levels of biodiversity.

Typhonium Praetermissum

Recently described Ground herb found in the catchment. In accordance with coding of rare and endangered species is currently assigned 1K status. 1" indicates that the plant is known only from the locality and K indicates that the status of the plant is poorly known but expected to be rare or restricted in occurrence. Although the plant is poorly known it is certain that it is a new species.

Eucalyptus Atrovirens

Eucalyptus atrovirens is a small to medium tree with grey flaky bark over a greyish or orange trunk. It produces small creamy white flowers late in the wet season. The tree has been described as highly restricted in its distribution and is of particular conservation significance. It has only been recently described as endemic to the NT and previously only known from low rocky hills east of Annaburroo. Two substantial populations have been found in Palmerston. One on the slopes of the Escarpment and the other on the stony slopes to the east, adjacent to Mitchell Creek. A major population of rare species occurs here, along with other representative vegetation types.