Latest News

Latest News

7

Jul 21

Q&A: Lakkari Pitt

Last year we shared an art series produced by Gamilaroi artist, Lakkari Pitt, that beautifully captured the Flow-MER program ecological indicators shown in the image above.

This time we want to share a little more about the artist herself. Lakkari discusses family, connection to Country and traditional knowledge in our feature Q&A that we're excited to share for NAIDOC week, 2021.

Click here to read our Q&A with Lakkari Pitt

28

Jun 21

Migratory birds in the Warrego: a home away from home

The Warreo River and its associated wetlands, incuding the Western Floodplain, occasionally host a suite of international migratory waterbirds. These birds are seasonal vistors who make epic journeys across the globe to visit Australia, and they depenend on healthy wetlands to do so.

There is lots to learn about migratory birds. Where do they come from and why? How do they navigate? And how often do they execute mammoth migrations between the north and south poles?

Let us bring you up to scratch.

Click here to read the full story: Issue No. 17 - June 2021

10

Jun 21

White-bellied sea eagle nest spotted at Warrego River’s Boera Dam

If you stand in just the right spot on the bank of Boera Dam in the Toorale State Conservation Area (SCA) and look to the trees in the east, you will spot a very large mass of twigs and sticks neatly curated into a large bowl shape. When our bird expert, Steve Debus, spotted this mass his interest was piqued. He raised his binoculars to have a good look and immediately identified a white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) nest. This is the furthest west in NSW that Steve had ever seen or heard of a white-bellied sea eagle nest with a breeding pair. Given that Steve is a raptor expert with about 40 years of experience, this observation is probably unique.

Click here to read the full story: Issue No. 16 - June 2021

27

May 21

Barwon-Darling Flow Updates


Barwon River at Dangar Bridge (Walgett) on 25 March 2021. Source: CEWO

Environmental water managers have protected a portion of the flows following rainfall and flows into the Barwon-Darling during March and April 2021.  The additional flows will help native fish to travel along the Barwon-Darling to improve opportunities for them to feed and breed. An update is available here.

These flows are building on the environmental outcomes provided by last year’s Northern Waterhole Top-up, which comprised six gigalitres (GL) from the Commonwealth and two GLs from NSW.

Environmental water managers recommenced protection of flows in late May. As of today (26 May) approximately 50 GL of unregulated flows have been protected from extraction through the active management of Commonwealth unregulated licenses. Approximately 19 GL of water for the environment (around 4% of the total volume) has flowed downstream of Wilcannia from 1 February to early May and contributed to the inflows at Menindee Lakes.

Read the full update here: Barwon-Darling Connectivity Flow 2021 – Update 1

27

May 21

Gwydir Valley Flow Updates

Video shows March flows in the Gwydir (location: the Lower Gwydir Floodplain, covering the Mehi and Lower Gwydir rivers and the Gingham watercourse)

Over the summer of 2020-21, around 23 GL of water for the environment was delivered across the Lower Gwydir, Gingham and Mallowa Creek systems within the Gwydir Valley and downstream.

In combination with natural flows, water for the environment helped improve the condition of the Gwydir Wetlands Ramsar sites located on ‘Old Dromana’ and ‘Goddard’s Lease’.  They also provided habitat for a range of waterbirds, fish, frogs, and turtles after an extended dry period.

In January, natural flows triggered a waterbird nesting event. Water for the environment was used to help several colonial nesting species finish their breeding. Waterbird surveys undertaken in February recorded around 1,000 magpie geese in the Gingham watercourse, gathering in flocks of 80-100, with some establishing nests in the area.

In late March, the Gwydir Valley received significant inflows from widespread rainfall. This led to major flooding across much of the Lower Gwydir Floodplain. This had a significant impact on communities across the Gwydir.

Following the floods, NPWS and DPIE EES staff observed several large (100+) groups of straw-necked and white ibis, great egrets, intermediate and little egrets.  Mixed flocks of ducks and lots of cootes and grebes were also spotted.

Read the full update here: Gwydir Flow update April 2021

4

May 21

A look at the Gwydir March 2021 flows

Floods that hit the Gwydir catchment in late March, 2021, brought a mixture of devastation and life to the communities and ecosystems that depend on the catchment's rivers. As the entire Gwydir catchment was doused with heavy rainfall between March 22 and March 24, downpours quickly translated into a significant, widespread flooding event. We tracked this event, including its volume and extent, as it moved throughout the channels in the Gwydir system and beyond. Take a look at the details of the Gwydir March 2021 flood via the link below. 

Read the full story here: A look at the Gwydir March 2021 flows

23

Apr 21

Lower Balonne Flow 2021

The Condamine catchment recieved good rainfall in early 2021 with some areas recieving up to 200 mm between January and March. Runoff from these rains contributed to natural inflows that complimented Commonwealth water for the environment. Stay current with these events and their outcomes via the CEWO Event updates below.

Event update #1 - 15 April 2021
Event update #2 - 9 June 2021

18

Mar 21

Restarting Dry Rivers: Risks to Water Quality

Delivering flows to maintain water quality in remnant pools is vital to maintain habitat quality and provide refuge for iconic species such as Murray Cod and Golden Perch. However, there are a number of inherent risks with delivering water through a dry system and we want to tell you all about them. 

Read the full story here: Restarting Dry Rivers - Risks to Water Quality

14

Mar 21

A Guide: Monitoring River Systems During a Global Pandemic

The year that was 2020 put a lot of things out of whack for the majority of us. While the fish, frogs and birds of the Warrego-Darling river systems were seemingly unaware, the Flow-MER team came across a few challenges in keeping a close eye on our study locations. Early 2020 saw the greatest flows through the Warrego-Darling since ages (or at least the commencement of our monitoring in 2014). Due to COVID-19 restrictions we couldn’t get on the ground to see this inundation and its ecological impact in person, therefore, we had to adapt. Thanks to modern technology, there were a few ways that our team continued to gather data to help inform important management decisions, ensuring the health of these systems- the fish, frogs and birds didn’t suspect a thing!

Click here for the full story: Monitoring River Systems During a Global Pandemic

6

Mar 21

A turtle’s go with no flow

The Gwydir River valley is home to a diverse range of aquatic species that rely on flows of fresh water to survive and thrive. The 2019 calendar year was the driest on record and the drought saw record low rainfall which led to sustained periods of no flow. Very dry conditions combined with high temperatures and local bushfires had to place a lot of pressure on the plants and animals of the Gwydir. In this little story we’ll provide some insight into how the system responded.

Click here for the full story: A turtle's go with no flow
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