One of the most significant wetland ecosystems in the Riverina area of south-western New South Wales will be reserved for conservation in the largest purchase of private land for such purposes in Australia’s history.
International environmental agency The Nature Conservancy successfully raised $55 million in philanthropy to purchase the Juanbung and Boyong cattle stations where the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers meet in July this year. The combined purchases means the organisation now owns almost the entirety of the Great Cumbung Swamp, an area totalling about 33,000 hectares home to over 130 bird species and over 200 plant species.
The area will be managed in a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Nari Nari Tribal Council (NNTC) in a similar arrangement to what is already underway in the nearby Gayini Nimmi-Caira area. Under this agreement the environment of the Great Cumbung will be managed with a focus on both cultural heritage and conservation.
“The Great Cumbung Swamp and the broader wetlands and woodlands of the property are really unique,” TNC’s regional director Rich Gilmore told ABC News.
“One of the reasons that we’ve made this purchase is because more needs to be done.”
Significantly, the purchase means that any potential conversion of the land into water-intensive cotton or rice farms will be ruled out. It will also offer an opportunity to better assess the health of the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers, which has been a concern since the mass fish deaths at the beginning of the year.
An important aim of the conservation project will be to restore connections between these rivers that have dried up over recent years, an outcome that would have significant environmental benefits for local ecosystems.
- Find out more about the important conservation work The Nature Conservancy is doing in Australia.
- One of the most significant things we can do to help native ecosystems is plant native trees, which support healthy ecosystems for both flora and fauna. So, why not get your hands dirty and plant a tree as part of National Tree Day 2019!
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.