National Wetlands Update February 2013
Issue No. 22, February 2013
Authority to boost self-defence for eight priority public wetlands
Heidi Kleinert, North Central Catchment Management Authority
Magpie geese have returned to Richardson's Lagoon.
The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is undertaking a project to improve the natural values of eight public wetlands near Kerang in northern Victoria.
The eight Central Murray wetlands will be assisted with self-defence by reducing the impacts of threatening pests, such as rabbits, foxes and weeds, as well as recovery through fencing and revegetation.
The collective of wetlands to be protected and enriched comprises Lake Cullen, Hird Swamp, Johnson's Swamp, Round Lake, McDonald's Swamp, Lake Elizabeth, Lake Murphy and Richardson's Lagoon. Many of these wetlands are internationally important as part of the Kerang Ramsar site and nationally important for migratory birds and rare plant life. The project will help to ensure their high priority wetland status.
Due to changed water flows for irrigation many of these wetlands have been cut off from natural flooding. Since 1987 some of the wetlands have received an allocation of environmental water to maintain their health. The environmental water has benefited waterbird numbers in particular - at Richardson's Lagoon Magpie Geese have returned. The water has also provided drought refuge for critically endangered fish populations such as the Murray-hardyhead at Round Lake.
The new project will focus on how land is managed within and adjacent to the wetlands. Over the next four years the project will:
- undertake wetland condition assessments
- reduce rabbit and fox populations
- protect threatened flora and fauna species
- protect cultural heritage sites
- provide fencing and revegetation
- reduce soil erosion
- raise awareness and offer support
- undertake mapping and monitoring works.
Pest animals and weeds don't recognise private and public land boundaries. The North Central CMA will be working with a broad range of partners, including Indigenous and community groups, Parks Victoria, Goulburn-Murray Water and surrounding landholders. A well-planned and integrated approach to combatting rabbits, foxes and weed issues will ensure the job gets done and protects everyone's interest.
Wetlands that receive environmental water need a helping hand with on-ground complementary land management works. This project will be a great showcase of what environmental outcomes can be achieved when investment is secured, neighbours talk, and water and land management is coordinated.
The project is funded by the Victorian Government's On Ground Works Program. For more information visit North Central Catchment Management Authority .