Yandina wetlands restored for good - Southern QLD

A good news story is unfolding for wetland birds near the town of Yandina on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  Historic floodplains of the Maroochy River were converted to cane fields in the early 1900s, but then in recent decades as water control systems broke down, a couple square kilometres of wetland began to re-establish itself, attracting many wonderful wetland birds including crakes, rails, and even the endangered Australian Painted Snipe and Curlew Sandpiper.  A couple of years ago, cane farmers wanted to return what had become a nice wetland back to cane fields, and eventually they drained the reformed wetland.  Thanks in large part to efforts from people like Greg Roberts (a local bird expert) and Judith Hoyle our branch convenor, the importance of the area for birds was established in the community and a solution for the birds was hatched.  Unitywater purchased the land and will be re-establishing the wetland as a nitrogen offset.  As part of that program BirdLife Southern Queensland will be monitoring waterbird populations to quantify what happens when wetlands like this are restored.  The project is proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment Levy, BirdLife Australia, and most of all by Unitywater.

Two successful surveys have been conducted by dedicated volunteers from BirdLife Sunshine Coast at Yandina wetland.  As part of that, Kylie from Unitywater and Rob Clemens delivered a workshop highlighting the site, Unitywater’s plan, waterbird conservation, and outlined the methods we will rely on to meet the objective of demonstrating the ecological benefit of restoring the wetland at Yandina.  It has been great the branch have been able to play a small part in this good news story, and is the kind of wetland restoration that would be great to see more widely. It is also a great example of how birdwatching, something we all enjoy, can inform conservation outcomes.

 

Image: OPENING: (L-R) Environment Minister Steven Miles and Unitywater Chairman Jim Soorley unveil a wildlife nesting box to officially open the Yandina Creek Wetland.