Environmental watering in Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp near Numurkah in late 2015 attracted birds not seen in the area for many years.
Good feeding habitat has flourished in response to environmental watering. Surveys found three egret species that are of conservation concern in Victoria—the great egret, intermediate egret and little egret—are using the wetlands. Magpie geese were seen at the wetlands for the first time in 10 years. Water nymph, a rare wetland plant, was also recorded for the first time at Black Swamp.
Brolga at Moodie Swamp, by Jo Wood
"Reports of these species in the area are great indicators that environmental watering in these wetlands is achieving our objectives of increasing the plant diversity that provides food and shelter for native animals," said Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's Jo Wood.
While environmental water was being delivered to the two wetlands, and to Reedy Swamp near Shepparton, more than 1,600 aquatic plants were planted to further boost the wetland's biodiversity. Planting was undertaken with the support of Moira Shire, Parks Victoria and Rakali Ecological Consulting.
Environmental watering in Moodie Swamp near Katamatite in April and May 2016 promoted cane grass growth and protected the nationally threatened rigid water milfoil that grows there; it is one of the largest populations in Victoria.
Brolga have been spotted scoping the area for breeding in recent years. In May, Neil, an Australasian bittern tagged and monitored as part of the Bitterns in the Rice project, was recorded stopping over at Moodie Swamp.
This year, environmental water was delivered for the first time to Doctors Swamp near Murchison, one of the most intact red gum swamps in Victoria. The red gums and other plants responded positively to the watering with large numbers of egrets, herons and ibis observed at the site.
Dragonfly at Moodie Swamp, by Fiona Lloyd
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Shared community benefits
Visitors to the Goulburn-Broken wetlands enjoy a range of recreational activities including birdwatching, picnicking, bike riding, walking and camping. Doctors Swamp, Moodie Swamp and Black Swamp are state game reserves used by hunters.