Field day to educate community on vital wetland system

26 FEBRUARY 2024

Field day to educate community on vital wetland system

Charles Sturt will host a field day at the wetlands that comprise part of the Yanco Creek System for community members and land holders to learn more about the waterway and its contribution to the surrounding environment.

  • Charles Sturt and partners to host field day on Friday 8 March at Hartwood wetland for land managers and community members

Land managers and community members will be able to learn about the vital wetland areas that are part of the Yanco Creek System during a field day on Friday 8 March.

Charles Sturt University’s Gulbali Institute of Agriculture, Water and Environment is hosting a Wetland Field Day on Friday 8 March in collaboration with the Local Land Service Refreshing Rivers Program, Yanco Creek and Tributaries Advisory Council, Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc. and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

Families are encouraged to attend the field day which will take place from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at Hartwood Wetland on Conargo Road, between Jerilderie and Conargo, on Friday 8 March.

The University held a similar field day in 2022, which was well received by the community.

The field day will give land managers, land holders and community members an opportunity to learn about the research and monitoring conducted alongside the delivery of Commonwealth water for the environment in the Yanco Creek system.

Participants will be able to learn about the value of healthy aquatic and riparian vegetation from Professor in Ecology in the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences Skye Wassens. They will also learn about the role they play in the diversity of fauna which inhabits the Yanco Creek system including bats, rakali and frogs.

Freshwater Ecologist with the Gulbali Institute Dr Anna Turner said these field days can provide valuable information to industry members and the community.

“Understanding the wet and dry cycles of wetland environments and the role that plays in the diversity and abundance of flora and fauna is an important aspect to managing healthy wetland systems,” she said.

“Field days can help bring together community to share a common goal of improving the condition of our local creeks and wetlands.”

The Yanco Creek system has been monitored by a University research team under the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s science program Flow-MER since the 2021-22 season.

The Yanco Creek System commences from the Murrumbidgee River, downstream from Narrandera, and flows in a south-westerly direction to connect near the Edward River near Moulamein. It includes more than 800 km of creeks and tributaries and key wetland habitat.

A series of videos were developed last year to showcase the diversity of the creek system. The videos include interviews with landholders who rely on the creek system for their farm business and everyday lives.

A major find during the research was the detection of a fishing bat called Southern myotis. The bat has large feet, which are used to catch small fish on the water’s surface. The endangered Southern bell frog was also detected using call recorders mounted at the wetlands.

“The diversity in the creeks and wetlands of the Yanco Creek system has been fantastic to see. Fish species include Murray cod, silver and golden perch, bony bream, Murray-Darling rainbowfish and unspecked hardyhead. We have also detected three freshwater catfish, including a juvenile,” Dr Turner said.

Families are encouraged to attend the field day which will take place from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at Hartwood Wetland on Conargo Road, between Jerilderie and Conargo, on Friday 8 March, and includes a walk at dusk around the wetland to see frogs, bats and other wetland inhabitants. A BBQ dinner will also be put on free of charge by the Jerilderie Fishing Club. Register by email to Dr Anna Turner on aturner@csu.edu.au.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Anna Turner, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or news@csu.edu.au

The Gulbali Institute of Agriculture, Water and Environment is a strategic investment by Charles Sturt University to drive integrated research to optimise farming systems, enhance freshwater ecosystems and improve environmental management, to deliver benefits across Australia and globally.

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Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University Gulbali Institute