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Etiwanda Wetland vegetation surveys: spring 2014

  Etiwanda Wetland vegetation surveys: spring 2014
 
Rounded Noon-flower (Disphyma crassifolium subsp. clavellatum), recorded at Etiwanda Wetlands during the survey. It is a native succulent that prefers dry conditions and can be found at higher elevations, but flowers prolifically in response to rain.

Full Title

Etiwanda Wetland vegetation surveys: spring 2014

Contact Person

Fiona Freestone

Funding Body

Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC)

Duration

Spring 2014 

Summary

A project was undertaken to locate and identify rare/threatened plants and pest plants at Etiwanda Wetlands.

Etiwanda Wetlands are constructed, urban wetlands that are filled from stormwater runoff after local rainfall. While the wetlands provide a haven for native plants in our urban landscape, the plants treat Mildura’s stormwater by providing a natural filter that improves water quality before it flows out to the Murray River.

Knowing which plants are located where can improve management of the wetland system. This includes protecting rare/threatened species and removing pest plants to increase the area of habitat for native vegetation. Increasing native vegetation also means improving habitat for many native animals such as waterbirds, frogs, fish, bugs and reptiles that rely on these plants for food and/or shelter.

These wetlands were previously surveyed by MDFRC in 2012 and autumn 2014 (see featured project: State of the Wetlands surveys). Work in spring 2014 differed from the previous two projects as it targeted rare/threatened plants and pest plants. This survey included:

  • Plant surveys in the northeast corner of Etiwanda Wetlands with particular focus on:
    • rare/threatened plants
    • pest plants
  • Repeat photos at established photo points
  • Fish surveys at three wetland ponds

 Outcomes

The aim of this project was to improve management of the wetland system by locating and identifying rare/threatened plants and pest plants at Etiwanda Wetlands. This was achieved by:

  • improved understanding of the plant community at Etiwanda Wetlands, which will value-add to management of the wetland system
  • providing observational data of the change in vegetation community over time through repeat photos taken at established photo points

In addition to this, fish were identified within three of the wetland ponds to gain an understanding of species using Etiwanda as habitat.