Biodiversity publications archive

Refugia for biological diversity in arid and semi-arid Australia

Biodiversity Series, Paper No. 4
S.R. Morton, J. Short and R.D. Barker, with an Appendix by G.F. Griffin and G. Pearce
Biodiversity Unit
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1995

14. Refugia in New South Wales (continued)

14.5. Reference number NSW5

Refuge area: Macquarie Marshes

Biogeographic region: Darling Riverine Plains

Type of refuge: Wetlands

Lat./Long. 30°30’ to 31°23’ S / 147°28’ to 147°47’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <1,000

Chief refuge value

A massive complex of wetlands providing a wide range of habitats and a major drought refuge for waterbirds.

General description

A complex of braided swamps, channels and gilgai floodplain on the lower Macquarie River south-west of Walgett. There are extensive areas of reeds and eucalypt woodlands. Some flooding occurs in most years. After inundation there is widespead breeding by waterbirds, and when the swamps further inland are dry the Marshes function as a drought refuge1, 2, 3.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Other significant species

The freckled duck Stictonetta naevosa occurs1. A substantial fauna of aquatic and semi-aquatic reptiles3.

Key threats

Because the system is regulated, flow patterns and amounts of water are important management issues.

Land tenure

Macquarie Marshes National Park, freehold land.

Key references

1. Paijmans (1981)

2. Wettin et al. (1993)

3. Brooker (1992)

4. Brooker and Wombey (1986)