Artists Need Natural Environments: Save Gippsland’s Wetlands.

Artists for the Environment.

Save Our Wetlands?

The Victorian State Government has released new regulations[1] that water down the rules protecting Victorian habitats from clearing, these include

Make clearing native vegetation easier and quicker (as opposed to the current situation where vegetation clearance is a last resort).

Largely remove the need for professional on-site flora and fauna assessments before clearing, replacing them with computer models.

Create a ‘cash for clearing’ system, which means that the bulk (approximately 90%) of applications to clear will simply require a fee to be paid before clearing.[2]  

 

The major benefactor of these new   regulations will be the fossil fuels industries.

 There is a lot at stake, Gippsland has internationally renowned   wetlands.  The Lakes, rivers and   marshes of Gippsland are teemed with wildlife and provide an abundance of   food and habitat for birds, fish and invertebrates.

Wetlands prevent flooding by holding water much   like a sponge. By doing so, wetlands help keep river levels normal and filter   and purify the surface water.

Wetlands accept water during storms and whenever   water levels are high. When water levels are low, wetlands slowly release   water.

Wetlands also release   vegetative matter into rivers, which helps feed fish in the rivers. Wetlands   help to counter balance the human effect on rivers by rejuvenating them and   surrounding ecosystems.

Many animals that live in other habitats use   wetlands for migration or reproduction. For example, herons nest in large old   trees, but need shallow areas in order to wade for fish and aquatic life.   Amphibians often forage in upland areas but return to the water to mate and   reproduce.

While wetlands are truly unique,   they must not be thought of as isolated and independent habitat. To the   contrary, wetlands are vital to the health of all other biomes and to   wildlife and humans everywhere.

Unlike most other habitats,  wetlands directly improve other ecosystems. Because of its many cleansing   benefits, wetlands have been compared to kidneys. The analogy is good one.   Wetlands and kidneys both help control water flow and cleanse the system.

Wetlands also clean the water   by filtering out sedimentation, decomposing vegetative matter and converting   chemicals into useable form.

The ability of wetlands to recycle nutrients   makes them critical in the overall functioning of earth. No other ecosystem   is as productive, nor as unique in this conversion process[…][3]

Gippsland’s Wetlands Wildlife.

Australasian Bittern Darter Laughing Kookaburra Sacred ibis
Australasian Grebe Drown Goshawk Little Bittern Sacred Kingfisher
Australasian Shoveler Dusky Moorhen Little Black Cormorant Satin Flycatcher
Australian Hobby Dusky Woodswallow Little Eagle Scarlet Robin
Australian Kestrel Eastern Rosella Little Egret Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Australian Magpie Eastern Spinebill Little Grassbird Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Australian Magpie Lark Eastern Yellow Robin Little Pied Cormorant Silver Gull
Australian Pelican Eurasian Coot Magpie Goose Silvereye
Australian Raven Eurasian Tree Sparrow Maned Duck Southern Boobook
Australian Shelduck European Goldfinch Marsh Harrier Spotted Turtle-Dove
Azure Kingfisher European Greenfinch Masked Lapwing Straw-necked Ibis
Baillon’s Crake Fan-tailed Cuckoo Mistletoebird Striated Pardalote
Barn Owl Feral Pigeon Musk Duck Striated Thornbill
Black Swan Flame Robin Musk Lorikeet Stubble Quail
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Glossy ibis New 1-lolland Honeyeater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Black-fronted Plover Golden Whistler Noisy Miner Superb Fairy-wren
Black-shouldered Kite Golden-headed Cisticola Pacific Black Duck Tawny Frogtnouth
Black-winged Stilt Great Cormorant Pacific Heron Tree Martin
Blue-billed Duck Great Crested Grebe Painted Snipe Varied Sittella
Brown Falcon Great Egret Pallid Cuckoo Weebill
Brown Quail Greenshank Peaceful Dove Welcome Swallow
Brown Thornbill Grey Butcherbird Peregrine Falcon Whiskered Tern
Buff-banded Rail Grey Currawong Pied Cormorant Whistling Kite
Cape Barren Goose Grey Fantail Pied Currawong White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Cattle Egret Grey Shrike-thrusli Pink-eared Duck White-browed Scrubwren
Chestnut Teal Grey Teal Purple Swamphen
Clamorous Reed Warbler Hardhead Rainbow Lorikeet WHoneyeaterhite-eared Honeyeater
Collared Sparrowhawk Hoary-headed Grebe Red Wattlebird White-faced Heron
Common Blackbird House Sparrow Red-browed Firetail White-fronted Chat
Common Myna Intermediate Egret Red-capped Plover White-throated Needletail
Common Skylark Latliams Snipe Red-necked Stint Willie Wagtail
Common Starling Richard’s Pipit Ye I low-billed Spoonbill
Crescent Honeyeater Royal Spoonbill YeIlow-rumped Thornbill
Crimson Rosella Rufous Night heron Yellow Thornbill
Rufous Whistler Yellow-faced White-browed Woodswallows

 

Reptiles

       


       

   Amphibians

       


       

Common Blue-tongued Lizard Common Froglet
Common Long-necked Tortoise Green and Golden Grass Frog
Delicate Skink Peron’s Tree Frog
Garden Skink Southern Brown Tree Frog
Grass Skink Spotted Marsh Frog
Lowland Copperhead Striped Marsh Frog
Red-bellied Black Snake Verreauxs Tree Frog
Tiger Snake

 

Flora Noted at the Sale Wetlands
Austral crane’s-bill Common centauty Jimmy’s shining peppermint Silver wattle
Bangalay Downy dodder-laurel Lightwood Small loosestrife
Birchwood Drooping mistletoe Long-flower mistletoe Spike wattle
Black wattle Dwarf mallow Manna gum Spreading waffle
Burgan Early black wattle Musky heron’s-bill Swamp paperbark
Carolina mallow Forest red gum Prickly tea-free Swamp gum
Centaury Golden spray Red inulfoil Sweet wattle
Cinquefoil Grassland crane’s-bill River red gum Yertchuk
Coast manna gum Heath tea-free Running marsh flower Wooly tea-bee
Coast wattle Hedge wattle Salt lawrencia Yellow box
Common boobialla Hop goodenia Shiny swamp mat White clover Narrow-leaf vetch

Courtesy   of the Victorian National Parks Association.

 

 

 

 

 

 


[2] Vnpa.org.au

[3] Ibid.

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