RUSSELL ISLAND'S WHISTLING KITE AND TURTLE SWAMP WETLANDS, CONSERVATION AREAS

    The field surveys resulted in thousands and thousands of mapping coordinates and corresponding photos of what is there. What is on these pages is, per force, a summary dictated by practicality. The wetlands are there and people on Russell Island are used to them, hardly paying any attention unless something extraordinary catches the eye. And yet, what extraordinary places they are: the different types of areas from open forest to open heath to Mangrove grasslands to swampy forest and more. No matter what time of the year it is, the diversity of the wetlands is overwhelming.The colors, whether it is flowering time or not, the signs and sightings of living creatures, whether they are lazy lizards or tiniest ants going about their business, are amazing. What is also amazing, is the "urban footprint" you find in places: from discarded fridges to car bodies, from old shoes to bedding. And like the weeds, they seem to have the characteristic of being prolific: you get rid of them in one place and - Simsalabim - there they are, back again. The beautiful water body in Whistling Kite, next to the cement batching plant, and the wet areas in Turtle Swamp are permanent. Water lilies swaying gently, basking in the sun. Little tadpoles dashing around in the smallest of puddles. Unfortunately too many of them will grow up be Cane Toads. The wetlands are precious but fragile. And while urbanization around them increases, all wetlands and conservation areas should be surveyed and mapped so that we know what is there and how we can protect it. A controlled, environmentally safe, access is needed so that both locals and visitors can enjoy these areas without harming what nature has given us. Knowledge protects

    Mapping

    All the data for information, images and mapping have been collected (with GIS mapping equipment) from the above wetlands in 2009. The only exceptions are the aerial background photo and the contours used in the hydrology map.

    Microbats

    Microbats are small, flying mammals which generally weigh between 4 and 30 grams. There are 70 species in Australia alone, and they inhabit almost every habitat on earth. Many people don’t realise that microbats exist or confuse them with flying foxes (fruit bats). The table below shows some of the differences between flying foxes and microbats.

    Wetlands Project

    The project, that was envisaged, was to be a three-stage project with Whistling Kite and Turtle Swamp being the main initial focus.nnStage one – in conjunction with the council - data collecting, surveying of the two areas and raising public awareness (for example articles, public meetings and a website.nnBy data collection it was envisaged that we would endeavor to establish what was there. Our interpretation, of what was there, meant that we would:nn1. Map and collect data and photos of the areas for their flora diversity.nn

    About the Project

    About the Project

    Located in Queensland's Southern Moreton Bay, and surrounded by a major city (Brisbane), parts of these wetlands are in pristine condition while other areas have been impacted by subdivision and urbanization activities. The purpose of 'Phase One' of the Russell Island Wetlands project is to collect and catalogue data and survey areas damaged by previous subdivisions of land, including areas of weed infestation. Data collection will underpin work phases in understanding existing biodiversity of the Wetlands; understanding the existing run-off issues caused by housing developments; and reporting on existing biodiversity threats and invasions. This will provide a basis for the costing and design of rehabilitation, protection and providing controlled public access - including accurate information for public viewing and publication. The desired outcome is to protect the Wetlands from the impact of residential encroachment and development threatening the Wetlands; and to raise community awareness of the need to protect the Wetlands area.

    The Animals of the Wetlands

    These are some of the animals who we are hoping to preserve and protect
    Kookaburra
    Kookaburra
    Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea
    Australian white ibis
    Australian white ibis
    (Threskiornis moluccus) is a wading bird of the ibis family
    Tawny frogmouth
    Tawny frogmouth
    The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a species of frogmouth native to Australia

    Learn more on how to conserver this precious resource- our environment

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