Murray Local Land Services, $80,218
Dr Amelia Walcott, Associate Professor Skye Wassens, Dr Andrew Hall, Dr Ben Wolfenden and Associate Professor Ben Wilson,
Like other systems in the Murrumbidgee catchment, the hydrology of the Billabong-Yanco creek has changed immensely due to water extraction and regulation. While the delivery of environmental water to help maintain and improve the water-dependent creek and wetland communities has been an objective for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, very limited information on the biota of the system is available to guide such actions.
This ILWS project provides baseline knowledge on a range of floodplain wetland characteristics with important implications for natural resource management of the system. Fifteen wetlands were selected across the system for their high conservation value. For each wetland:
Photo Dr Amelia Walcott taking soil samples
The key findings from the project include:
Photo A Barking marsh frog, Limnodynastes fletcheri
Findings of this research were made available to the Yanco-Billabong community to communicate the floodplain assets within their region and the benefits of flooding (natural and environmental) to maintaining these important wetland systems. This included:
The high carbon storage estimated for key wetlands in the system, as well as identification of a small population of threatened frog species (the Southern bell frog) has important implications for future water delivery to the Yanco-Billabong system.
Dr Amelia Walcott