IN GOOD HANDS: Locals learn the importance of estuarine biodiversity at Urunga. SUBMITTED
IN GOOD HANDS: Locals learn the importance of estuarine biodiversity at Urunga. SUBMITTED

Wetland workshops draw interest

COFFS Coast wetlands are in good hands judging by the roll up to a recent program designed to protect the significant environments.

WetlandCare Australia said it had an overwhelming response to its Biodiversity Discovery Program, with workshops held at Red Rock, Urunga and Coffs Creek.

The workshops celebrated the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity by giving the community a chance to recognise the importance of estuarine wetlands, highlight wetland complexity and sensitivity and to inspire action toward their conservation.

“Focused on the importance of estuarine wetlands for biodiversity, the workshops were well attended with community members excited to explore and learn more about their local wetland,” WetlandCare Australia spokeswoman Kirralee Donovan said.

“The three workshops all provided notable highlights with a range of habitat types explored and a number of different species observed and discussed.”

The first workshop was held at Red Rock along the Corindi River. Venturing through the different estuarine habitat types – saltmarsh, mangroves, swamp forests, sedgelands and littoral rainforest – the participants learned about the range of species that depend on healthy waterways to survive.

The Urunga workshop provided ideal conditions for shorebird sightings and identification. The observation of a number of threatened shorebird species was a highlight of the project.

Participants were lucky enough to see two beach stone curlews (a critically endangered species), sooty as well as pied oyster catchers plus eastern curlews, whimbrels and a number of bar-tailed godwits, all of which migrate to Australia.

“The final event held along Coffs Creek also provided excellent bird observation opportunities,” Ms Donovan said.

“Participants caught a glimpse of raptors in the pursuit of prey and a range of shorebirds but were also taught the skill of identifying bird calls.”

Visit www.wetlandcare.com.au for more information or contact Kirralee Donovan on 6652 5589.



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