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Protecting waterways

Breeding sites for water birds are critical to their survival and health in urban landscapes.  Vina Chubb reports on the importance of protecting the wetland site on Biddabah Creek.

AS ECOLOGIST JOHN SIMPSON informed us during a survey of the wetland site, the Floating Primrose, that had been covering nearly 90% of the water surface at the site, has started to die off and now there is a large surface area for the ducks and Purple Swamphens to use, so they can land when flying in and then feed on the aquatic plant and animal life that inhabits the site.

Due to the unusual summer the bird life has dramatically diminished. But, recently a family of Wood Ducks now call it home and a family of Purple Swamphens have never left the site.

During the past few months a family of Pacific Ducks had a couple of chicks and the Purple Swamphens have had several families. Other birds seen there in the morning have included Ibis and a Cormorant.

Late one afternoon a group of Yellow Tailed Cockatoos had a fun time flying about in the magnificent trees surrounding the water hole. Crested pigeons are often seen in the early morning enjoying the sun.

The Biddabah Landcare Group who look after the surrounding land to the water way and wetland, have spent over a 100 hours during the past 9 months clearing the surrounding bushland of Morning Glory, Farmers Friends, Crofton Weed and Paspalum.

Of great concern is that several old trees have been marked by a developer at the northern end of our site. A housing development along the borders of the riparian land behind the site was granted approval over a decade ago. It appears that an investigation is underway to install a culvert at the back of the site to assist with the management of water from Biddabah Creek which will flow through that development.

It is important that carers for local waterways and water bird breeding areas be consulted and the protection of waterbird breeding sites be considered as a high priority.

MMM … Issue 39, August – September 2023