Barron Delta

The Barron Delta project is some more info here etc.. some more info here etc..

Reef Rescue

Here is info linkng to Reef rescue more infor etc...

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A RIVER IN NEED OF ACTION

 

In 2000 an independent expert panel prepared the Barron River Management Action Plan which identified that the Barron River was in need of rejuvenation along approximately 140 km of its 165 km length, an area in order of 980 hectares.

 

Key threatening processes listed in the plan:

  • loss of riparian vegetation
  • weed invasion
  • proliferation of feral animals
  • water pollution
  • inappropriate land use
  • conflicting use of the water resource.

The Management Action Plan detailed issues and potential actions at a local scale within broader scale segments of the Barron River. Barron Catchment Care has adopted the plan’s priority actions as a framework for restoration work in the catchment.

 

Precious remnants

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The variation in altitude, climate and soil type within the Barron River catchment support equally varied natural vegetation, ranging from upland rainforests and open woodland to wetlands and coastal mangroves. This diversity of vegetation types across the catchment provides a wide range of habitats for different widlife.

 

Clearing of much of the original vegetation for agriculture and urban development on the Atherton Tablelands and the coastal lowlands has left only fragments of vegetation in the catchment – important relics of formerly extensive forestry types. Some fragments house rare and threatened species whilst others represent the remaining patches of endangered ecosystems.

 

The Barron River Management Action Plan 2000, identifies one of the most endangered vegetation types as the Complex Notophyll Vine Forest (defined by Tracey 1982*). This rare forest is known as ‘Mabi Forest’, from the local Aboriginal name for Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi), the largest mammal found in this forest. Less than 3 percent of Mabi Forest remains, most as small remnants on the rich basalt soils around Atherton and Yungaburra.

 

Other significant forest communities that exist as remnants in the catchment are Upland Complex Mesophyll Vine Forest and Tall Open-forest/Tall Woodland, regarded as vulnerable or endangered. On the coastal plain, fragments of endangered and vulnerable vegetation types include Mesophyll Vine Forests and Notophyll Vine Forest.  

 

*J G Tracey 1982. The Vegetation of the Humid Tropical Region of North Queensland, CSIRO

 

The role of riparian vegetation

 

Native vegetation along the Barron River (riparian vegetation) serves important functions that contribute to the overall health of the catchment and the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon:

 

  • provides habitat and food for terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals
  • protects biodiversity
  • protects water quality, filters pollutants and sediments
  • reduces spread of weeds and pests
  • stabilises river bank and controls erosion
  • controls flooding and overland flows
  • buffers the river from inappropriate adjacent land uses
  • promotes resilience to the effects of climate change.

In turn, a healthy river contributes to the wellbeing of local communities, with opportunities for recreational activities, fishing and learning, and for use by local businesses and agricultural industries.

 

Greening the Barron

 

The loss of native vegetation along an estimated 82 percent of the length of the Barron River puts revegetation and habitat restoration high on the list of priority actions for Barron Catchment Care. Small-scale revegetation has always been an important management strategy for us and for different community groups in the Barron River catchment. Several groups are dedicated to revegetation and have significant expertise in restoration of various sites in the catchment. In order to encourage a more holistic approach to revegetating the catchment, Barron Catchment Care prepared the Barron River Management Strategy, to provide a strategic framework for the different initiatives.

 

In 1996, members of the Lower Zone Community Forum, concerned about the declining health of the river, embarked on a plan for the rejuvenation of the Lower Barron River. This initiative subsequently expanded to include the full length of the river with the Green Corridor concept.  

 

 In 2005 the ambitious Green Corridor Project, guided by the Barron River Management Action Plan 2000, was established to revegetate and remediate the Barron River along its full length. The three years of corporate funding from Cairns Airport Pty Ltd enabled Barron Catchment Care to leverage additional funds and achieve significant rehabilitation work in partnership with the community, landholders, industry and government. In the first three years the Green Corridor Project planted over 70,000 trees and rehabilitated 56 hectares of the Barron River.

 

Barron Catchment Care’s expectations of ongoing corporate funding ended with the 2008 global financial crisis.  Site-specific revegetation activities within the Green Corridor Project are currently sustained by Reef Rescue funding, a key component of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country Program.

 

The Barron Delta Community Project, launched in 2010, is part of the Green Corridor Project, also funded by the Caring for our Country Program, focussing on rehabilitation of 35 hectares of the Barron Delta.

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