Murrumbidgee Monitoring Evaluation and Research Program, ecological responses to Commonwealth environmental water: Field report. Number 4, March 2020

Joshua Bruni, Gayleen Bourke, Skye Wassens

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Abstract

This report describes preliminary outcomes of Commonwealth environmental watering actions at selected wetlands in the mid and lower Murrumbidgee. These surveys are conducted four times a year as part of the Murrumbidgee Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Program and include assessment of ecological outcomes in the Murrumbidgee River and connected wetlands through the mid-Murrumbidgee and Lowbidgee floodplain wetlands as outlined in the Murrumbidgee Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. Routine monitoring of birds, fish, frogs, tadpoles, water quality and vegetation diversity was undertaken at the 12 MER wetland monitoring sites in the Murrumbidgee Selected Area during March 2020. All Redbank and mid-Murrumbidgee wetland sites were accessible, with three wetlands being either dry or holding insufficient water for sampling (Piggery Lake, Two Bridges and Mercedes). As previously, Mantangery Lagoon was monitored in place of McKenna’s Lagoon in the mid-Murrumbidgee. In the Nimmie-Caira three wetland sites (Telephone Creek, Eulimbah Swamp and Avalon Dam) were inaccessible for netting due to the Covid-19 shutdown of the Gayini Nimmie-Caira reserve. Vegetation surveys were completed at these wetlands prior to the shutdown. Nap Nap Swamp was monitored but held insufficient water for nets. Weather conditions were mild with daytime temperatures between 20 - 30°C and overnight lows dropping to around 8 -10°C. A small amount of rain (<1mm) fell in the Lowbidgee. Our mid-Murrumbidgee field crew was joined by a Darlington Point local, Dakota Grace, a recent graduate from the Clontarf Indigenous School in Griffith. Although completely new to wetland monitoring he embraced the opportunity and was a great member of the team. Our thanks to Dakota and Gary Currey from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for facilitating his involvement.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
PublisherCommonwealth of Australia
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth Environmental Water Office
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2020

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