Guides to reducing wetlands impact
From the November 2009 edition of Agriculture Today.
Two new publications for graziers in the Gwydir Wetlands and Macquarie Marshes aim to reduce the impact of grazing on wetland vegetation.
The publications are called the Glove box guide to plants of the Gwydir Wetlands and Macquarie Marshes and the Guidelines for grazing in the Gwydir Wetlands and Macquarie Marshes.
Industry and Investment NSW has prepared the two publications in consultation with landholders, scientists and other members of the community and as part of the NSW Wetland Recovery Program.
The Glove box guide to plants of the Gwydir Wetlands and Macquarie Marshes provides information on selected plant species, including plant descriptions, their management and the identification of similar species.
The guide includes new information on the feed quality of some selected species.
The Guidelines for grazing in the Gwydir Wetlands and Macquarie Marshes details the available knowledge of the role of grazing in wetlands.
The guidelines provide grazing recommendations and include key information on these important wetlands, managing stock in wetlands, managing stock water, fire management and working in a drying climate.
Project officer, Steffan Holmes, who assisted with the production of the guidelines, said it was widely recognised that wetland areas in the Gwydir Wetlands and Macquarie Marshes have been reduced and that vegetation condition was declining.
"This can be attributed to a combination of factors, including ongoing dry conditions, altered inundation patterns and changing management regimes," he said.
"In these regions, the area of wetland plant communities has been reduced and sites that were traditionally wet are now being colonised by terrestrial (dryland) plant communities."
Mr Holmes said graziers, scientists and other members of the community were consulted for these publications to identify key plant species, document current management practices and key issues, and identify future management recommendations as dry conditions continue.
"One of the largest knowledge gaps among graziers has been an understanding of wetland plants," he said.
The guidelines and the glove box guide are available at upcoming Paddock Plants days to be held in the Gwydir Wetlands on December 1 and in the Macquarie Marshes on December 3.
Contact Harry Rose, Kempsey, (02) 6562 6244 or visit www.wetlandrecovery.nsw.gov.au