National Wetlands Update September 2012
Issue No. 21, September 2012
Jimaringle and Cockran Creeks recent environmental watering events
Emma Wilson and Sascha Healy, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Cockran Creek (Sascha Healy)
The Jimaringle and Cockran Creeks, NSW, are a dynamic ephemeral system which has brought together the local community and government agencies in a common cause–to see it thrive in response to environmental flows.
The 130 kilometre ephemeral creek system travels through about 30 landholder properties and is located within the Edward-Wakool River System in the Murray catchment.
The impacts of extensive clearing and changed flow regime were intensified by the low volumes of water that entered the system during the last decade due to drought.
Natural flooding in part of the system during 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 provided an opportunity for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to conduct a trial environmental watering event using water sourced from OEH and Commonwealth Environmental Water. Water quality and flow extent was monitored by the Murray Catchment Management Authority and local landholders. Frog surveys and incidental bird surveys were conducted by OEH staff.
Nesting egrets (Emma Wilson)
The ecological communities within the creek system have flourished in response to the return of inflows over two consecutive years.
The fringing river red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), black box (E. largiflorens) and lignum (Muehlenbeckia florulenta) have improved in condition demonstrating fresh new growth and flowering. Wetland vegetation such as spike rush (Eleocharis acuta), and duckweed (Lemna sp.) has also responded and increased in abundance.
OEH staff identified several frogs including the pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerilii), Peron's tree frog (Litoria peronii) and the wrinkled toadlet (Uperoleia rugosa). More than 20 waterbird species were observed foraging in the creek system including egrets (Ardea spp.) and cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.). The Water Rat (Hydromys chysogaster) was also found at several locations within the system.
The Jimaringle and Cockran Creeks community has been very supportive of these recent events. The landholders have been generous with their extensive knowledge of the system and have allowed access to their properties which assisted OEH to deliver and monitor the environmental flow outcomes.
For more information visit NSW Office of Environment and Heritage .