Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Murrumbidgee River System: Category 3 waterbird breeding monitoring summary report

Jennifer Spencer, Damian Michael, Kate Brandis, Roxane Francis, Skye Wassens

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Abstract

Colonial waterbird species, including ibis, herons, pelicans, egrets and cormorants, can nest in large numbers within floodplain wetlands. The Lowbidgee floodplain is one of the most important colonial nesting waterbird breeding sites in the Murray-Darling Basin (Kingsford and Thomas 2004; MDBA 2014). Eulimbah and Telephone Bank Swamps are the main areas that support large ibis colonies in the Gayini Nimmie-Caria. The neighbouring Redbank wetlands, which includes Yanga National Park, can also support large egret, heron and cormorant colonies. In the mid-Murrumbidgee while egret, heron, spoonbill and cormorant colonies were previously common in multiple locations (Briggs and Thornton 1999), only smaller, mainly cormorant colonies, have been detected in this region in recent years (Wassens et al. 2018).
Under the approved Murrumbidgee MER Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for 2019-2022 (Wassens et al. 2019) there is provision to undertake event-based waterbird breeding monitoring during years where active colonies are detected. Monitoring of waterbird breeding sites plays a critical role supporting water management decisions, particularly with respect to water delivery needed to maintain the depth and extent of inundation in colony sites and surrounding foraging habitats so that waterbirds can fledge their young successfully.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherCommonwealth Environmental Water Office
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth Environmental Water Office
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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