Re: Weeds and Biodiversity

Subject: Re: Weeds and Biodiversity
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 09:37:17 +0800

There have been many comments on this subject.  This is also an issue in
the Kimberley of WA.

The Purple-crowned Fairy-wren is highly threatened (certainly the western
race).  An excellent place to find them is on the boat cruise on Lake
Argyle which goes to the south of the lake along the upper Ord River.
PCFWs can be found in the Jerusalem Thorn thickets along the river bank.
This is an introduced weed (from South Africa?) and there is an eradication
campaign for it.  The thickets are also covered in a wild passionfruit, but
I don't know if this is introduced?

The cattle have access to the river edge, and so most other vegetation
(e.g. pandanus and cane grass) has gone.

On a trip across the Barkley Tablelands in the NT several years ago, we
stopped at a turkey mound dam in the middle of a treeless plain.  The dam
was surrounded by Jerusalem Thorn and we found a lone male PCFW.

Also in Kununurra, there is a campaign to eradicate the typha that has
exploded along the Ord River between Lake Argyle and the diversion dam
because of the constant water level.  The typha is excellent habitat for
White-browed Crake, and there are now records for Little Bittern and Little
Grassbird a long long way from other known sites.  I have also seen
Oriental (Great) Reed-warbler in the typha at Kununurra. Other species of
interest that use this habitat from time to time include Black Bittern,
Star Finch, Yellow-rumped Mannikin, Comb-crested Jacana and Green

Frank O'Connor

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