In the nick of time - saving the yellow-spotted bell frog
Thought to be extinct in the wild for over thirty years, the spectacular Critically Endangered yellow-spotted bell frog was rediscovered in a creek in the Yass area in 2010.
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Director Conservation Programs Derek Rutherford said this Threatened Species Day (September 7), watering events in rivers and wetlands in five valleys across the state are supporting our iconic and unique native species.
"These watering events are about managing the quantity, timing and quality of water flows to sustain aquatic ecosystems and the human livelihoods that in turn depend on them," Mr Rutherford said.
"Providing the right amount of water where and when these species need it is the job of the OEH and water flows are being provided to the Murray and Lower Darling, Murrumbidgee, NSW Border Rivers, Macquarie-Castlereagh and Gwydir valleys.
"Each year, OEH works with communities, scientists and water managers to identify the rivers and wetlands where water is needed most and manages water for environmental outcomes.
"The water is provided from the NSW Government and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder allocations," Mr Rutherford said.
In the Gwydir Valley, a pulse of water is providing a welcome boost to the aquatic food web ahead of the native fish breeding season. The freshwater catfish is one threatened species likely to benefit from increased abundance of food in the river as a result of the flow.
Water is also flowing through the Macquarie Marshes, providing food, habitat and breeding opportunities for threatened species including brolgas, magpie geese, freckled ducks and blue-billed ducks.
A flow is taking place in the NSW Border Rivers which along with others in the north of the state, aim contribute to connections in the Barwon-Darling creating opportunities for fish to disperse.
Wetlands along the Murrumbidgee River are making the most of an early season flow that has topped up critical breeding and foraging habitat for threatened species including the Australasian bittern and the southern bell frog, one Australia's largest frogs once abundant along the Murray and Murrumbidgee river systems. A conservation project to help secure this species in the wild is also part of the NSW Government's $100 million Saving our Species program.
And in the Murray Valley, A co-ordinated approach to watering is supporting a dynamic aquatic food web and encouraging the movement of other native species, including Murray cod, Golden and Silver perch, to migrate through the system thanks to managed watering events throughout the southern connected basin.
In the Lachlan Valley however, a natural drying spell is underway following natural flooding last year. This drying spell includes prompting native plants to flower and set seed; allowing soils to open, aerate and direct decomposing organic matter to the roots of plants; and encouraging plant diversity.
"Managing these natural cycles is part of the complexity of the environmental water manager's role," Mr Rutherford said.
Find out more about environmental flows here: Water for the environment
Threatened Species Day is observed on the 7 September each year to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction and to highlight the work that is being done to save them.