WELCOME TO RUSSELL ISLAND, THE JEWEL OF MORETON BAY QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
WHISTLING KITE AND TURTLE SWAMP WETLANDS, CONSERVATION AREAS
All the data for information, images and mapping have been collected (with GIS mapping equipment) from the above Russell Island wetlands in 2009. The only exceptions are the aerial background photo and the contours used in the hydrology map.
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.
—————– If you need a place to stay when visiting, there is a bed and breakfast/motel style accommodation
or alternatively for other information check Russell Island and Southern Moreton Bay.