Celebrating World Wetlands Day
To help celebrate World Wetlands Day, the Hinchinbrook Wetlands Alliance and James Cook University have released a video of the work being done to rehabilitate a wetland north of Townsville.
JCU scientists have conducted ‘before and after’ surveys of the Insulator Wetland area – a 40 acre wetland that was choked with weeds less than 18 months ago.
“Our surveys of the site indicate that the work being carried out by Bunura Pty. Ltd, a member of the alliance, has resulted in an increase in native plants and animals, so already in the first stage of the project we can see some success in restoring these wetlands,” said researcher Martha Brians.
“The video and website will allow the community to get directly involved and help spread the word about the importance of wetlands,” she said.
Hinchinbrook Wetlands Alliance (HWA), a community alliance that includes JCU, Terrain NRM, Bunura Pty. Ltd., Paluma Environmental Education Center, HCPSL and others is carrying out the work on the ground, with funding from the Queensland Government through an ‘Everyone’s Environment Grant’.
The group began the wetlands restoration project on a 40 hectare site at Insulator Creek and engaged local farmers, traditional owners, local schools and the community in the project, which aims to remove invasive weeds and re-establish a healthy wetland.
Ms Brians said the area is important as it provides a sanctuary for birds and fish and is also a habitat for the endangered Mahogany Glider.
“We are thrilled to say that with the help of the HWA many of the weeds have been reduced and native species are coming back. It is now thriving and native frogs are literally jumping on your legs and feet as you walk,” landowner Santo Lamari said.
The Aboriginal organisation Bunura rolled out the on-ground work in conjunction with the landholders with support from other members of the Alliance.
“This project has given Traditional Owners an opportunity to work on Country and build our skills and our business,” said Bunura’s Director, Mr Berry.
Jacqui Richards, Community Partnerships Coordinator at Terrain NRM, who is supporting the Hinchinbrook Wetlands Alliance to manage the project, said that community partnerships are the best way to get results on the ground and ensure long lasting outcomes.
“This project is a great showcase for what can be achieved when the community works together on environmental projects. The site has already welcomed many other landholders, conference delegates, volunteers and JCU students who have come to learn about the project and observe the results.
“This year there will be a youth day at the wetlands to plant native grasses to replace some of the remaining invasive grasses. Further landholder and community activities will follow on in 2017 as well as another round of on-ground works to be delivered by Bunura,” she said.
For more information go to http://insulatorcreek.weebly.com/
The Hinchinbrook Wetlands Alliance is made up of representatives from Terrain NRM, James Cook University, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Paluma Environmental Education Centre, CSIRO, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Herbert Cane Productivity Services Ltd, and others.
P: 07 4781 5739