Locals Supporting Wetland Recovery
Endangered and threatened birds, fish, frogs, and plants have made a significant comeback on a threatened wetland, thanks to works undertaken by Envite Environment, Bandjalang Traditional Owners, Bungawalbin Landcare and private landholders.
With funding from the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants, the Bungawalbin Landscape Bushfire Recovery Project has successfully managed to support threatened species recovery through restoration works and invasive species control after the devastating 2019 bushfires burnt large swathes of the wetlands and rainforest.
“Over ninety-five per cent of the Bungawalbin area was burnt. This area is part of a large wetland system which contains lowland subtropical rainforest, coastal swamp forests, coastal floodplain wetlands and dry sclerophyll forest and is one of the most significant areas of fauna biodiversity in north-east NSW,” said Envite Environment Senior Environment Coordinator, Maree Thomson.
“Wetlands can cope with fire to a certain degree, but not if it’s really hot, dry and devastating. Unfortunately, 2019 was that year. This left many of our threatened species on the brink of disappearing and one of the biggest actions you can undertake to support recovery is pest and weed control.
“Unfortunately, the fires were preceded by drought and followed by floods resulting in ideal conditions for growth weeds such as Lantana and Cats Claw Creeper which out-compete regenerating native plants if not controlled,” said Maree
With World Wetland Day on February 2 focusing on taking action to restore, repair and protect wetlands, Maree says community support and collaboration is vital in wetland habitats enhancing their important role now and into the future.
“Bungawalbin Landcare and landholders in the area have worked hard to assist wildlife and habitat to recovery from bushfires and the Minyumai Indigenous bush regeneration team is working to restore Country of strong cultural significance.
“Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants, improve water quality and provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.
“By undertaking weed control activities and engaging with local volunteers and landholders we can help to ensure that the wetlands and the species that rely on its health have the best chance of full recovery.”
The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.
Image 1: Bungawalbin wetlands. Image by Iain Stych
Samantha Stratton / M: 0487 767 955 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maree Thompson/ M: 0428 116 895 / E: email@example.com