Improving the integrity of the Melaleuca Wetland as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland Project.
The Coochiemudlo Island Wetland Weed Control project is tackling weeds in the Coochiemudlo Island Melaleuca Wetland.
Removal of weeds will improve habitat for native flora and fauna including the threatened the Lesser Swamp Orchid and the wallum sedge frog.
Weeds are being targeted at key locations across the wetland which will enable native vegetation to re-establish in its place and improve the integrity of the Melaleuca Wetland ecosystem.
About the project
- Reducing weed threats and restoring habitat in and around the 19-hectare Melaleuca freshwater wetland.
- Weed removal using chemical-free techniques to re-establish native vegetation.
- Weeds being targeted include Singapore daisy, cocos palms, fishbone fern, asparagus fern, cassia, pepper and umbrella trees.
This project is delivered by Healthy Land and Water, through support from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
This project is being delivered in partnership with Coochiemudlo Island Coastcare and Redland City Council.
Why this project is important
The Coochiemudlo Island Melaleuca Wetland within the Moreton Bay Rasmar site has high cultural and ecological values as it is home to over 170 native plant species, including the endangered Lesser Swamp Orchid (Phaius australis), and it provides habitat for many birds and animals including the threatened wallum sedge frog.
Weeds are one of the main threats to this wetland, in particular Singapore Daisy is threatening a small population of the endangered Lesser Swamp Orchid (Phaius australis). Other weeds such as asparagus fern, cassia, pepper tree and umbrella tree are also starting to spread through the wetland.
The weed pressure was exacerbated following a storm surge from ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in2013, which wiped out over a kilometre of shoreline, exposing the Coochiemudlo Island Melaleuca Wetland, uprooting trees, destroying infrastructure and threatening the Island’s economy.
Restoring wetlands is important because they provide clean water, protect our shores, reduce the impacts of floods and improve water quality. Melaleuca wetland ecosystems have been diminished in South East Queensland as a result of land clearing and coastal development pressures.
Melaleuca Wetlands (RE 12.2.7) have been diminished in South East Queensland due to coastal development pressures, hence the preservation of this wetland is important, not only for the ecosystem services it provides to Ramsar, but also as a remnant of this vegetation type.
The Coochiemudlo Island Wetland Weed Control project employs innovative chemical-free weeding techniques including saturated steam and hand removal methods to remove a range of weeds from the wetlands.
These Chemical-free techniques will prevent herbicides from harming wildlife, such as the threatened wallum sedge frog, and prevent chemicals from seeping through the sandy soils into the groundwater and ocean.