Eyes on Nature

A Year in Review

27 Jul 2021

As the temperature starts to dip, plant growth slows, and fewer creatures are out and about. Animals such as frogs go into torpor, hiding underground, under leaf litter or in crevices, while some birds migrate to warmer places, as far afield as the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is often thought of as a quiet period of rest and reflection, so let us look at the environmental management and ecological monitoring works the Authority has done in the last 12 months.

We improved ecosystem health and habitat values:

  • Mangrove forest health was improved through digging and maintaining drainage channels in parts of Badu Mangroves
  • Eight new nest boxes donated by the Avicultural Society of NSW were installed in Blaxland Riverside Park and Archery Centre to boost the population of Red-rumped Parrots
  • Eight frog ponds in Narawang Wetland were drained to eradicate the introduced pest fish – Plague Minnow aka Mosquito Fish (Gambusia holbrooki), and refilled to give predator-free ponds for our endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs to breed in
  • A new silt fence, the third in Narawang Wetland, was installed around two ponds to protect them from pest fish invasion. New ponds were also installed in the Brickpit and Kronos Hill, and a leaking pond was repaired
  • Over 20,000 groundcovers and shrubs were planted to enhance frog and bird habitat
  • Protected the Waterbird Refuge with wire fencing to prevent trampling of regenerating vegetation and disturbance of nesting or roosting birds
  • Renewed ponds through sediment removal; 250 tonnes of sediment were removed from one pond

We shared our love and knowledge of nature:

  • Our Parklands Ecologist was featured in an ABC TV interview on the 20th anniversary of the Olympic Games and our Green Games legacy
  • Celebrated World Wetlands Day (Feb 2), World Environment Day (June 5) and Biodiversity Month (September) by delivering online and face-to-face talks, tours, videos, and social media posts. This included our first microbat tour, with representatives from the NSW government Saving Our Species program showing real time microbat presence with their hand-held bat-detectors! Keep an eye out for upcoming Biodiversity Month this September
  • Launched the Sydney Wetland Institute, a knowledge hub for best practice in urban wetlands

We collected valuable data for management:

  • Over 50 volunteers participated in the Spring Bird Census, counting 16,953 native birds over 8 weekly surveys; a total of 93 native species was recorded
  • Continued long-term monitoring programs for migratory shorebirds, Red-rumped Parrots, microbats, reptiles and frogs. Numbers are looking healthy and the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog is widely distributed across the Park
  • A pair of Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew was seen in Newington Nature Reserve wetland; six Bar-tailed Godwits are overwintering in the Waterbird Refuge this year instead of flying back to their breeding grounds in Siberia in March

This is just a small selection of the work we have done. We have plenty more to do and report as the weather warms. Stay connected to find out what we have in store for 2021-22!

A leaking frog pond was recently re-lined and planted for the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs.
Many ecological monitoring programs are conducted every year with the help of volunteers
The Authority runs regular environmental education events

A leaking frog pond was recently re-lined and planted for the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs

Many ecological monitoring programs are conducted every year with the help of volunteers

The Authority runs regular environmental education events- Subscribe to our What’s On newsletter to stay in the loop

News

Related articles