Our first Forbes Landcare Bushranger’s planting event is nearly upon us! And we are looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday. In this phase of the project, we will be planting over 2,500 macrophytes and we are keen to make a good start with the social planting this weekend.
If the word macrophyte is unfamiliar to you, basically, they are aquatic plants that grow in or on the edge of saline or fresh water. They can be either emergent (growing above the water line), submergent or floating. Macrophytes are an important component in both natural and constructed wetland areas and provide shelter and food for birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates. Just as importantly, these plants also aid in the removal of harmful nutrients in the water. We will be planting three species of macrophytes.
This work is possible through the Painted Snipe project, with funding made available through the National Landcare Programme that was provided by the Central West Local Land Services in partnership with Forbes Shire Council and the Central West Councils Environment and Waterways Alliance.
The Painted Snipe population was previously thought to number 5,000 individuals, though it is now believed highly unlikely that the population exceeds 2,500. Although the precise rate is difficult to establish due to different survey methods, the cryptic nature of the species, and the lack of extensive surveys in the arid zone of northern Australia, the Atlas of Living Australia estimate that it is a population in decline of greater than 30 per cent for the past 26 years (3 generations).
The Painted Snipe inhabits inland and coastal shallow freshwater wetlands, occurring in both ephemeral and permanent wetlands, particularly where there is grass. The movements of the Painted Snipe are poorly known. Sightings of individuals are erratic, and it is thought the species is likely to be nomadic in response to suitable conditions, such as floods.
The Painted Snipe forages at night on mud flats and in shallow water. The Painted Snipe nests on the ground amongst tall vegetation such as grass tussocks and reeds. Nests, which consist of a scrape in the ground lined with grass and leaves, are often located on small islands. Incubation of the eggs and brooding of the young is done by the male alone.
This project, of course, doesn’t just benefit the Painted Snipe, but it is always beneficial to have a target species, particularly when it is listed as Endangered, because habitat improvement for the Painted Snipe, means habitat improvement for many animals and for our communities, who benefit from improving this special area on many levels.
The important information that you need to get things happening on Saturday: registration is from 9am. We finish with morning tea at 11am, so please bring a thermos and I’ll bring some morning tea. It is going to be wet so bring gum boots and please bring some rubber gloves (remember that we will be planting around Gum Swamp).
Visit centralwestlachlanlandcare.org or go to our facebook page. Until next week, happy Landcaring!