Wongaloo Swamps Aggregation DOIW
The site is located on the coastal plain between Cape Cleveland and the Haughton River. Its central point is at 19 degrees 24' 57" S, 147 degrees 03' 22" E, about 31 kilometres south-east of Townsville.
The site is an outstanding example of a lacustrine wetland on a prograded tropical coast. The site is the location of the largest concentration of brolga Grus rubicundus recorded in Australia c. 12 000 birds. It is a very important breeding site for brolga Grus rubicundus and magpie geese Anseranas semipalmata. The main reason for this is the presence of bulkurru Eleocharis dulcis over much of the site. Bulkurru follows a seasonal cycle, forming dense beds during the wet season then dying back to tubers as waters recede during the dry. This cycle is exploited by brolga and magpie geese. They breed towards the end of the wet, using the beds for nesting material and shelter. Then as the waters recede and the bulkurru dies back they dig in the drying mud to harvest some of the enormous numbers of nutritious tubers (they are very like commercial water chestnuts) that the bulkurru develops. The site is the most important in the Burdekin-Townsville Coastal Aggregation for breeding brolga and it is probable that their numbers represent more than one percent of the national population. The site is also a regionally important habitat for waterfowl and waterbirds. It is the most important night feeding ground for waterfowl in the Burdekin-Townsville region, with nocturnal numbers thought to be 3-5 times the diurnal numbers of some years (J.G. Blackman pers. comm.). The site is also of regional importance as seasonal fish habitat.
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