Funding available to support Gwydir Wetland bird breeding

Recent wet times have provided an opportunity for breeding of colonial nesting waterbirds in the Gwydir wetlands for the first time since 2012.

The waterbird species include thousands of straw-neck and glossy ibis, intermediate and eastern great egrets, nankeen night herons, little pied and little black cormorants; and hundreds of royal and yellow billed spoon bills, and Australasian darters.

As part of an effort to protect the habitat for these waterbirds, North West Local Land Services have funding available for landholders to improve areas around and upstream of the Gwydir wetlands, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Projects funded by Local Land Services to date include fencing off water ways and providing alternative water points as well as improved groundcover to reduce sediment runoff and weed control. In the past, project funding has helped landholders improve wetland condition on farms and in riparian waterways, helping to support current breeding events. The improved habitat helps support numerous iconic waterbird species and provide food for young chicks and fledglings.

A technical advisory group has just completed ethics approved surveying of the breeding event and gathered information to help maintain the colonies and ensure as many chicks as possible survive. This group includes representatives from NSW Department of Planning and Environment - Environment, Energy and Science (DPE-ESS), National Parks and Wildlife Service, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, North West Local Land Services, 2Rog Consulting, and University of New England. DPE-EES environmental water managers are monitoring events and are adaptively managing flows to maximise the success of this once in a decade colonial waterbird breeding event.

A collaborative approach involving various agencies and landholders has been supporting the ecological health of the Gwydir Wetlands over the last decade by ensuring environmental water, released under NSW and Commonwealth government licences, reaches known waterbird breeding sites.

If you have a potential project you would like to discuss, please contact Leonie Coleman 0447 475 838 or

This project is supported by North West Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Related information