Wheat

Environmental water delivery aims to help wetlands in wake of fires

Wednesday 23 April, 2014
Environmental watering of Kinnairds and Black wetlands aims to mirror natural wetting and drying patterns as well as help fauna and flora re-establish after fire damaged the wetlands in February, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Project Officer Jo Wood says.

Environmental watering of Kinnairds and Black wetlands aims to mirror natural wetting and drying patterns as well as help fauna and flora re-establish after fire damaged the wetlands in February, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Project Officer Jo Wood says.

“Both wetlands are home to nationally threatened plant populations so it is imperative to look after these sites,” Ms Wood said.

Last week delivery of 600ML to Kinnairds near Numurkah started with another 132ML delivery starting today (April 15) at Black swamp near Wunghnu.

Ms Wood said the water to Black Swamp was delivered via regulators from the Broken Creek system and would take about a week to complete. Delivery to Kinnairds could take up to four weeks.

“We had always planned to deliver environmental water in early autumn to reflect the natural wetting regime you’d normally see at this time of the year,” Ms Wood said.

“However, we postponed it slightly until we had a chance to look at how the fires affected the wetlands. In the short-term, re-establishing the understorey vegetation is vital as it provides important habitat for the many insects, reptiles, birds and mammals that feed and breed in the wetland.”

Ms Wood said there were some good signs the wetlands were starting to recover.

“Frogs have started laying eggs and some vegetation has already emerged and begun flowering – the recent good rain no doubt has helped - it’s very exciting to see all this new growth,” Ms Wood said.

“We have set up cameras to monitor the changes over time and a drone we commissioned to fly over the wetlands last month will fly over them again in spring. This will help us measure the effectiveness of the environmental water, identify where regeneration is occurring naturally and what areas or vegetation may not be recovering so well.”

Black swamp two months on from the Feb fires

Black swamp two months on from the Feb fires