"'Lloyd Nielsen'" <>, <>
"Edwin Vella" <>
Sun, 12 Sep 2004 16:17:42 +1000
I started this thing about Jacanas early
this year. We usually had quite a few in the NSW Hunter Region around Newcastle prior to the drought but have almost all since disappeared. Hopefully
they will return.
[ On Behalf Of Lloyd Nielsen
Sent: Tuesday, 14 September 2004
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Jacanas
Some time ago, there were
a few postings on Birding-aus regarding the disappearance of Jacanas. At that
time, Jacanas had mostly disappeared from many wetalnds in N.
Qld. The wet seasons of 2002 and 2003 failed and the large Lake
Mitchell (between Mareeba and Mt Molloy) was a good example, having dried right
back. The waterlily fringed perimeter of the lake disappeared and so did
the Jacanas. Much of tropical Australia including all of Cape York
Peninsula missed the wet over that time and many wetlands would have been
either very low or dry. The huge Tinaroo Dam near Atherton fell to its lowest
level (about 24% of capacity) in the 50 odd years since it was built.
Earlier this year the wet
season arrived and gave us one of the best on record (but not the heaviest).
All wetlands were replenished and vegetation started to grow back. At the
moment waterlilies are getting back to their former glory. A few
months ago, with the growth of the lilies and aquatic vegetation, Jacanas started
arriving. At present numbers are high - there are many hundreds on Lake
Mitchell and breeding is taking place with a couple of clutches of young.
Where did they go through
those dry years? It seems as though Jacanas are able to move
very long distances quickly - which belies their appearance on the water where
they seem to be a pretty average flier. It would be interesting to know how
extensive the movement is - it would probably be surprising.
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