Author: Liam Taylor
After widespread and heavy rainfall late in the summer brought water to some areas of western NSW for the first time in years life is slowly returning to the region, revealing its incredible resilience.
Three months have now passed since waters began flowing again through bone-dry tributaries to the Darling River, but the river is still running strong. Water has flowed as far as the Menindee Lakes and for the first time in two years, the Darling and Murray rivers have reconnected.
There had been concerns local ecosystems would not recover following the sustained drought, but the return of water has already brought an encouraging return of wildlife and vegetation along the river. Native fish numbers such as cod and yellow belly have returned and with them species of native birdlife such as the culturally significant pelican.
"The old pelican is [called] the boorimatha, they're the king of river,” Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Land Council chair Dave Kirby told ABC News.
"Seeing them back on the river itself, especially on the fish traps, is quite significant, and to be able to share it with our kids is really special."
Communities have also seen encouraging signs from local populations of kangaroos, emus, but while the return of native fauna is encouraging, the impact of the recent drought is still clear on the landscape. Countless established native trees that stood for generations have been lost with more to be removed.
With native vegetation crucial to much of the local agricultural industry, rejuvenation of local ecosystems will be a key focus for authorities in the region moving forwards.
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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.
Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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