Creating a wetland wonderland at Schwenke’s Dam

Wetlands are probably the habitat
that’s in shorter supply and in Western Australia and Australian general but
particularly Western Australia’s very few. A lot of them are disappearing
or getting salinised, they’re drying up now with climate change and so the
chance of developing some wetlands in an area of reasonably high rainfall and
good water came up and so we talked to Talison about it and they
were very interested in being involved in it. The project started before my time
here but I was fortunate enough to be here in 2017 when it was completed and I’ve really only seen what it looked like beforehand in photos and it’s not
comparable it’s a stark contrast. It’s now a place that encourages a variety of
native flora and fauna to frequent the area, yes there’s been a massive
improvement. So, the idea was to create areas of shallow water with protection
on the reeds for the water birds particularly the Australasian bittern. I
monitored the bird from 2013 up to 2018 once a month, we recorded something like 4,000 Birds is using the three areas between them and a total of 40 different
species. Before mining we calculated that have probably been possibly seven fairly
common species that might have used this area because there’s no water here, you know this is going back before the first mining and so there’s probably 35 species that have
come in as a result. It was so exciting to see the community get behind this so we had you know over a hundred people. Community, school groups, other groups in the community like the local Scout group and so on and look at this gave every potential for the residents and the community to be
involved whether it was actually with their cockatoos or whether it’s with the
working with the land forms and generally just getting lots of
really kind, good-hearted support, you know? If you’re going to do anything you
need to have the community involved otherwise you can achieve nothing, it’s
absolutely essential. So, we wanted to involve everybody and we got people
involved we had people recording the aquatic macroinvertebrates over the four
years making collections, probably up to a thousand species I think we got.
Also a collection of plants and several hundred species of plants were collected. And the actual planting we started off hand planting and we had a lot of school
kids coming up, scout groups all sorts of groups coming up here, various conservation groups. We had one group that came down planting to music, I can’t remember what they’re called, from Perth, had the music blaring and they were out there planting
that was a quite good. So it’s been hundreds of people involved.

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