Artists for the Environment.
Save Our Wetlands?
The Victorian State Government has released new regulations 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.
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[…]
|Gippsland’s Wetlands Wildlife.
||Little Black Cormorant
|Australian Magpie Lark
||Eastern Yellow Robin
||Little Pied Cormorant
||Eurasian Tree Sparrow
||New 1-lolland Honeyeater
||Pacific Black Duck
||Great Crested Grebe
|Cape Barren Goose
|Clamorous Reed Warbler
||Ye I low-billed Spoonbill
||Rufous Night heron
||Yellow-faced White-browed Woodswallows
|Common Blue-tongued Lizard
|Common Long-necked Tortoise
||Green and Golden Grass Frog
||Peron’s Tree Frog
||Southern Brown Tree Frog
||Spotted Marsh Frog
||Striped Marsh Frog
|Red-bellied Black Snake
||Verreauxs Tree Frog
|Flora Noted at the Sale Wetlands
||Jimmy’s shining peppermint
||Early black wattle
||Forest red gum
||River red gum
|Coast manna gum
||Running marsh flower
||Shiny swamp mat
||White clover Narrow-leaf vetch
Courtesy of the Victorian National Parks Association.