New bitterns and bell frogs project


By Jamie Hearn
Senior Land Services Officer 

P: 03 5881 9925 | M: 0447 420 789 |

Australasian bittern & a southern bell frog

As rice bays fill across the Murray region during October and November, the sights and sounds of birds and frogs making their homes in crops, drainage areas, and adjacent wetlands remind us of the value of these isolated, mainly ephemeral ecosystems.

These sites rely almost entirely on water allocation levels for both irrigation and environmental water delivery to create habitat and provide conditions suitable for breeding a range of our local native species. These include the Australasian bittern and Southern Bell Frog, and both species are listed as Endangered in NSW.

Murray LLS has joined with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, the Rice Growers Association, and other key industry and agency stakeholders in a pilot project to identify locations where early ponded rice is grown close to wetland areas. The ‘Bitterns and Bell Frogs’ project will work with individual landholders to improve wetland habitat by providing incentives for on-ground activities, including stock exclusion fencing, minor infrastructure works, and feral animal control.

Murray LLS staff have recently undertaken site visits to prioritise locations and work through management options with landholders. If the pilot project is proved successful, funding may be sought for a broader scale program in the future.

For more information on the Bitterns and Bell Fogs project:

Rice crop with black box wetland in the background Part of a farm drainage reuse system

Related information