Water provides summer sanctuary near Barham

Waterbirds including egrets will have a summer sanctuary close to Barham thanks to environmental watering at Pollack Swamp.

Egret (Ardea alba) in a tree, Lowbidgee

As part of wetland restoration works across the mid-Murray, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Forestry Corporation NSW are managing the delivery of 1500 megalitres of environmental water to the site.

The water is providing a much needed drink to river red gums surrounding the swamp and supporting healthy habitat for native wildlife.

Senior Environmental Water Manager Paul Childs said flows would encourage a range of aquatic and terrestrial plants to establish and set seed at the site.

“Together with FCNSW, we have already delivered 1000 megalitres of environmental water,” Mr Childs said.

“A further 500 megalitres will allow us to increase the extent and duration of inundation.

“In doing so, we can support a range of native waterbirds and ensure the swamp can provide adequate refuge for plants and animals over summer,” he said.

Forestry Corporation District Manager Andrew McCurdy said the project was a collaborative effort, with water being delivered via Bringan Irrigation Trust infrastructure.

“To complement the watering event and support nearby landholders, we have carried out fox baiting,” Mr McCurdy said.

“We’re also monitoring the event by way of bird, frog and vegetation surveys.

“Several photo points have been established to capture a visual record of the vegetation response and song meters are being used to record frog activity.

“Water quality data is also being collected,” he said.

The watering project is a collaboration between NSW OEH, FCNSW and the Bringan Irrigation Trust.

Surveys have been funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Water for the event has been provided by the NSW OEH adaptive environmental water allocation.

Contact: Sarah Scroope