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    15082: A Lifeline to help Save Lake McLarty

    Bird Varieties at McLarty
    Bird Varieties at McLarty

    Lake McLarty is a Ramsar listed wetland included in Birdlife Australia's Important Birding Areas. Thirty species of migratory shorebirds listed in Agreements between Australia, Japan, China, Korea have been recorded here.
    Water level is a critical requirement for the health of the lake. When dry, often in January, the lake is devoid of the birds for which it is recognised internationally, nationally and
    locally. Within the Swan Coastal Plain it is estimated that over 80% of the wetlands are gone or seriously degraded. 
    Conservation, protection and rehabilitation of Lake McLarty is therefore of vital importance.

    Should no mitigating treatment be undertaken we could see:
    A. a decline in usable water levels and mud flats, in peripheral vegetation, in native reed species and in migratory bird food source
    B. increased: acid sulphate, weed species including Typha orientalis, 
    C. wasted Volunteer hours,
    D. wasted funding from DPaW, PHCC and Alcoa for weed control and revegetation.

    What the project will do:
    The project will ensure the conservation value of Lake McLarty is maintained and enhanced by:
    • Weed mapping to develop a workable data base.
    Previous studies and surveys have shown that when Typha orientalis or other weeds have choked entire wetlands, the water bird populations are severely reduced. At near by Lake Mealup the recent reduction and near elimination of Typha orientalis and other management interventions has contributed to the return of water birds to the lake in large numbers. 
    • Bird survey/mapping at controlled sites entered on GIS data base to determine changes in bird numbers and behaviour.
    The "ecosystem approach" is favoured for Lake McLarty and aims to preserve balanced populations of species in their native habitats. 
    • Weed control of identified invasive species that threaten bird feeding grounds
    • Monitoring success of weed control to identify the most effective methods and areas for maintenance.
    • Continuation of Typha orientalis control.
    The project, as a whole, is on-going. This phase needs to address the issues with the perimeter of the lake. The next phase needs to address issues concerning water levels. We are currently in discussions with a consultant hydrologist about this. We will submit for a grant with the State NRM in future release of funds. This will combine each phase in to an overall improvement of the lake. The long term vision of the project is to have water in the lake from January to April, the current dry period. Section 8 contains further information.

    Investment: $ 48 992
    In-kind contribution: $ 51 590
    Delivery organisation: Friends of Lake McLarty (FoLM)
    Project duration: July 2016 - December 2017
    Location: Murray, Shire of
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