Description of wetland ecological character: Yanga National Park
In 2007, the Australian and NSW governments established the Rivers Environmental Restoration Program (RERP) which aimed to arrest the decline of some of the most significant and threatened wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin through:
- water recovery
- effective management of environmental water
- sustainable management of our wetlands.
As part of the RERP Subprogram II – Better Use of Environmental Water, the Yanga National Park description of wetland ecological character identified:
- ecosystem benefits and services
- ecological components and processes
- limits of acceptable changes in ecological character.
Yanga National Park (gazetted in 2007) meets five of the six criteria for determining nationally important wetlands. The park contains:
- 17 vegetation communities, including one of the largest stands of river red gum forest/woodland in Australia
- 269 fauna species, including 61 species of waterbird which use the site for roosting, feeding and nesting/breeding
- habitat for endangered and vulnerable species, including five vascular plant species and 21 species of fauna.
The park is highly stressed as evidenced by:
- large-scale degradation of vegetation condition
- sharp decreases in the abundance of waterbirds
- an increase in the extent of exotic European carp.
The major threat to the ecological character of the wetlands in Yanga National Park is alteration to hydrology caused by upstream engineering works.
Environmental water provision is the most practical method for recovering and maintaining the ecological character of the wetlands.
To better detect changes to the ecological character of the park’s wetlands, high priority must be given to determining the:
- flow path and pattern of inundation
- extent of aquatic vegetation communities
- number and abundance of waterbird species
- condition and extent of river red gum forest.
Page last updated: 28 February 2012