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Flow and waterbird ecology

A review of the relationships between flow and waterbird ecology in the Condamine-Balonne and Barwon-Darling River systems

The waterbirds study reviews the relationships between flow and waterbird ecology in the Northern Basin.

The project involved a literature review and an expert panel workshop to refine the understanding of environmental water requirements of waterbirds. 

The project identified that over 100 waterbird species make use of the many wetlands in the Barwon–Darling and Condamine–Balonne river systems. The study confirms that the Narran lakes provides important waterbird breeding habitat and how long flooding is needed in the Lakes to ensure a range of waterbirds can breed. This in turn informs us of the flows that are required to maintain and restore waterbird populations.

This review also identified the importance of providing water for native floodplain and wetland vegetation.  This vegetation plays an important role in supporting the life cycle of waterbirds, such as providing food, shelter and habitat including nesting material and protection from predators.

This project was undertaken by Kate Brandis and Gilad Bino from the University of New South Wales Centre for Ecosystem Science, as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Northern Basin review.