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Bromfield Swamp and the Revegetation of the Upper North Johnstone River
30 Jun 2008
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Description

Bromfield swamp is a special place.

It is a Wetland of International Significance and a breeding ground for many bird species including Brolgas and Sarus Cranes. Sarus Cranes are threatened worldwide and the Australian sub-species is seen as a buffer against extinction.

High in the Atherton Tablelands, the Swamp is part of the headwaters of the North Johnstone River. By the 1880s, only 10 % of the original vegetation remained in the surrounding area.

Some individual landholders had started replanting trees along the river banks and gullies, and in 1995 they formed the Malanda and Upper Johnstone Catchment Landcare group to plan and organise funds for major riparian revegetation works.

Since then, over 130 000 trees have been planted along 22 kms of river banks and gullies and a significant wildlife corridor now connects Bromfield Swamp to Malanda Falls Environmental Park.

A wildlife ecologyst tagged and studied fourteen individual Tree-kangaroos already using the corridor by 2005.

Livestock have been fenced out of the waterways, cattle crossings hardened and off-stream drinking points provided.

The cooperation and commitment of the landholders has been vital to the success of the projects. Hundreds of volunteers have been involved, including Green Corps and Conservation Volunteers Australia teams, working alongside the Eacham Shire Council Revegetation Unit.

The old timber signs at the Swamp were recently updated and replaced with assistance from the Reef Hotel Community Benefit fund and Terrain NRM.

Malanda Landcare continues with revegetation projects every planting season. More recent work on the Ithaca River and Dirran Creek mean that we are steadily working downstream towards the World Heritage area.

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