Discover the Murrumbidgee River
Frogs, fish, birds, bats, bugs and turtles.
The wetlands, creeks and rivers of the Murrumbidgee catchment are home to birds of all sizes, frogs of all makes and fish of all models.
Take some time to reconnect with the beauty and diversity of the Murrumbidgee and its unique wildlife.
A long and winding river
The Murrumbidgee River follows a winding path from its source in the high country to its connection with the Murray, near Boundary Bend. The Murrumbidgee is one of the most regulated river systems in the Murray-Darling Basin. This presents challenges and opportunities for water managers delivering flows to support vital floodplain habitat for native birds, fish, frogs, plants and more.
Photo: James Maguire/OEH
Come on a journey
Experience the sights and sounds of the Murrumbidgee catchment. Wetland plants are not only pretty but practical, providing habitat for native fish, frogs, birds, bugs and more. Getting water to the wetlands and creeks where it is needed most ensures native plants and animals have a chance to feed and breed, providing a productive and sustainable future for the unique wetland wildlife.
Photo: James Maguire/OEH
The view from down here
Water-loving plants like milfoil, potamogeton, water primrose and wavy marsh wort provide perfect habitat for native fish, particularly juveniles. Aquatic plants protect young native fish from predators and are also a source of food. See that brown filmy-furry substance attached to the stems on the left? That's biofilm – the fairy floss of the river. Tiny aquatic insects feed on biofilm and become food for slightly larger animals. And so, the food chain grows . . .
Photo: Carmen Amos/OEH
A wetland hero
It may not be the prettiest of plants, but lignum is the perfect spot to build a nest and raise a family, especially if you're a straw-necked ibis (pictured). The Murrumbidgee catchment is home to extensive lignum shrublands that provide vital habitat for a range of wetland animals. The plant can survive extended dry spells, morphing from a pile of sticks into a handy, nest-ready shrub within weeks of water arriving.
Photo: Vince Bucello, Midstate Video Productions
The water is wide
When a 'big wet' arrives, native plants burst into life creating important habitat for local and visiting wildlife. The spreading waters release vital nutrients that flow back into the river system and energise the aquatic food web. Dams and weirs have changed the pattern of wet and dry times on the floodplain and altered the availability of habitat for wetland wildlife that was once common across inland rivers. That's why managing water to support healthy floodplains and happy wildlife is so important.
Photo: Vince Bucello Midstate Video Productions
In your sights
These black-winged stilts love the shallow wetland waters where they forage for food, collect nesting materials and care for the next generation of red-legged wetland waders. Keep an ear out for their distinctive high-pitched yap. And while you're there, listen out for the boom of the Australasian bittern and the call of the barking owl – beautiful birds just waiting to be admired by the bird-loving traveller.
Photo: Mick Todd/OEH