To: "'Lloyd Nielsen'" <>, <>
Subject: Jacanas
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 16:17:42 +1000

Hi Llyod


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.






-----Original Message-----
From: [ On Behalf Of Lloyd Nielsen
Sent: Tuesday, 14 September 2004 10:27 AM
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. already appearing 


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.


Lloyd Nielsen

Mt Molloy  Nth Qld

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