Malkumba-Coongie Lakes awarded Landcare funding
Posted 05 November 2018.
Pest plants and animals will be controlled at the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site thanks to funding awarded to the SA Arid Lands NRM Board.
Located near the outback town of Innamincka, Malkumba-Coongie Lakes covers an area of more than two million hectares and is a wetland of International importance.
This project is supported by the SA Arid Lands NRM Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Work supported by the funding will protect environmental values recognised through the Ramsar Wetlands Agreement. This will include protecting the habitat of endangered animals including the Dusky Hopping Mouse, and Crest-Tailed Mulgara, as well as maintaining diversity of native fish species in the waterholes. Monitoring of the populations of species will also be carried out along with acoustic surveillance to determine the presence of the recently re-discovered Night Parrot.
The one-year funding will see invasive weeds including Buffel Grass and Mimosa Bush treated. Pest animals including feral pigs and large feral herbivores will also be controlled to reduce the damage they do to waterholes and vegetation. This will include an aerial cull.
SA Arid Lands NRM Presiding Member Janet Brook welcomed the National Landcare funding to support the protection of the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes and said it will continue on from the work the Board has been doing over a number of years.
“Controlling feral plants and animals in this unique wetland is vital to preserving the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes. We welcome the funding and look forward to working further with the Australian Government to extend the works beyond a one-year project.”
Malkumba-Coongie Lakes is an arid zone wetland system of International importance, recognised by the signing of the Ramsar Wetlands Agreement in 1987.
The site is an extensive system of freshwater wetlands, including lakes, inter-dune corridors, channels, floodplains and swamps. Water in the system most commonly comes from flooding in Queensland that sends water down the Cooper Creek via the cluster of five semi-permanent lakes. When wet, these incredibly productive habitats can support huge amounts of breeding birds.
The Ramsar Wetlands agreement is part of the Ramsar Convention - an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states have signed up with 2331 sites internationally covering 249,591,447 hectares. In Australia there are 66 sites covering 8,307,329 hectares.