monsoon forest, vine-thicket

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: monsoon forest, vine-thicket
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 18:42:04 +0930
Birding Aussers who¹ve visited Howard Springs in the Top End may know that
the area is no long fit for swimming because of the water quality.  Despite
vegetation both in and around the main pool and a colony of flying-foxes
being blamed,  it seems the real cause is the massive drop in the water
table, some 8 metres in the last few decades.  Over 30 000 bores are now
established in the area.

It seems that the monsoon vine-forest is now shrinking, with numbers of
large trees dying off.  Howard Springs is a prime spot for Rainbow Pitta and
a number of other monsoon forest birds, and it is safe, unlike many similar
spots around Darwin (eg Holmes Jungle).  Many visiting birders are women.

But this is not the only patch of monsoon vine-forest under threat.  A large
patch of pristine vine-thicket  along the road to Wickham Point (near
Palmerston) is to have its status changed from conservation to development,
for the Inpex development.  This is the only accessible monsoon vine-thicket
I know of within relatively easy reach of Darwin, apart from East Point.
Unlike East Point there are Rainbow Pitta here all year.  It¹s also the best
spot I know for Large-tailed Nightjar., there being four birds at any one
time.   And we once saw a stunning 3 m. long Carpet Python in the area.

Apparently Berry Springs is also under threat because of the large number of
bores feeding off that aquifer.

I plan to lodge a submission and it would be great if others would join me.
The closing date is 12 August, 2011.  The land is Part Section 1813, 1814
and 1890 Hundred of Ayers, 497 Wickham Point Road, Wickham, 0832.
The address GPO Box 1680
Darwin NT 0801
Fax: 8999 6055

Denise and Michael (Stott)
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
1/7 Songlark Street, Bakewell NT 0832, AUSTRALIA
Ph. 61 08 89 328306
Mobile: 04 386 50 835

Birdwatching and Indigenous tourism consultant
PhD Candidate (Southern Cross University, NSW)
Interpreter/transcriber, Lonely Planet Guide to Aboriginal Australia
Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia
For copies of Birds of Australia¹s Top End or Quiet Snake Dreaming, visit

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him
to hold in higher regard those who think alike
than those who think differently."


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