Edward/Kolety-Wakool Flow Monitoring, Evaluation and Research project: Werai Forest research report 2022

Robyn Watts, David Crew, Luke Egan, Paul Frazier, Thom Gower, Tracey Hamilton, Sascha Healy, Xiaoying Liu, Nicole McCasker, Liticia Ross, Andre Siebers, John Trethewie, Shjarn Winkle

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report (public)

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Werai Forest has great cultural significance to the Wamba Wamba (alternative spelling Wemba Wemba) and Perrepa Perrepa (alternative spelling Barrapa Barrapa) Traditional Owners, and is also recognised regionally, nationally, and internationally as an important forest and wetland. The Werai Forest Group is
approximately 11,400 hectares (ha) and is one of three Forest groups that make up the Central Murray Forests Ramsar site. These Ramsar forest ecosystems support nationally and internationally significant populations of wetland birds and fish, mammals, reptiles, frogs and freshwater turtles, and supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles. The hydrology of Werai Forest is highly regulated. River regulation (dams, levees, weirs and regulators) has led to the disconnection of the Werai Forest from the Edward/Kolety River. One of the significant knowledge gaps is the pattern of inundation in Werai Forest. There is also a gap in understanding of how
the hydrology of Werai Forest interacts with productivity of adjacent rivers and the relative contribution of floodplain production to the metabolic dynamics of adjacent rivers.

Traditional owners have managed Werai Forest for many thousands of years but now must deal with new challenges associated with changing land and water management. An informal ‘Werai Forest Group’ was formed in 2021 to facilitate discussions between Wamba Wamba and Perrepa Perrepa Traditional
Owners, other stakeholders and water managers to share knowledge and identify key information that is needed to inform the future management of the forest and delivery of Commonwealth environmental water to the forest and other nearby rivers and wetlands in the Edward/Kolety-Wakool system. Through
these discussions the group identified information, training, and other support that Traditional Owners need to be able to manage Werai Forest, and information required by water managers to support the delivery of environmental water to the forest. Some of the information needs identified by the Werai Forest Group were able to be addressed through three research projects funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Flow-MER Program. These three research projects are the focus of this report.

This report provides the findings of three projects undertaken in Werai Forest in 2021-22 as part of the Edward/Kolety-Wakool Flow-MER program. These projects will assist the future management of the forest and delivery of environmental water to the forest.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAlbury, NSW
PublisherCharles Sturt University
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth Environmental Water Office
Number of pages135
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2022


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