Native Dog Swamp: where cattle droving and bird watching meet

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Visitors to Native Dog Swamp will experience something special, as they sit in the bird-hide and look out over the swamp for waterbirds, frogs calling in the background. This unique place was historically used for droving and feeding stock during drought, but has more recently been managed as a place for the public to enjoy the wildlife of the area in a natural environment. There are plenty of parking spaces, and a walking track leads down from the carpark to the bird hide. It is encouraged that anyone who happens to be in the region to come and visit the site.

Native Dog Swamp still functions as an active Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR), however it is currently being managed to improve the capacity of the wetland to store carbon, improve biodiversity and encourage the public to visit and enjoy the Reserve. Native Dog Swamp is a shallow marshy wetland 178 ha in area, of which 55 ha is managed as a TSR. The remaining area is private land.

This site is part of the Murray Wetland Carbon Storage project – a partnership between Murray Local Land Services (LLS) and the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd. (MDWWG), funded by the Australian Government.

The project aims to increase wetland soil carbon retention through improved management, landholder partnerships and an array of rehabilitation practices. Activities carried out at Native Dog Swamp include: planting of mixed local riparian and terrestrial vegetation; fencing to aid in grazing management; walking paths, interpretive signage, and the construction of a car-park and an all-weather bird hide.

Part of the management of the reserve includes prescribed cool burns (or low intensity fuel reduction burns) that are used to assist in weed control and help boost the diversity values of the wetland, whilst at the same time maintaining the carbon stores within the soils and root systems of native plants. These cool burns are likely to occur every seven to ten years.

This site will also help in the progression of agricultural and environmental research through survey work carried out on the soils and vegetation located within Native Dog Swamp.

Flora and Fauna at Native Dog Swamp
Native Dog Swamp provides a home for a number of animal (fauna) and plant (flora) species including: the Giant Banjo frog (Limnodynastes interioris), Barking Marsh frog (Limnodynastes fletcheri) and Spotted Grass frog (Limnodynastes tasmaneiensis). Not all frogs are restricted to living in wetlands. In fact some of the above mentioned frogs have been found several kilometres away from water, in woodland areas.

Native Dog Swamp in flood, 2016. Photo: Leigh Rogers.

There are many woodland birds and waterbirds that use Native Dog Swamp, some of these include the Red-capped Robin , Brown Treecreeper, Grey-crowned Babbler, Freckled Duck, White-necked Heron and Glossy Ibis¹.

Native Dog Swamp is a significant site and this has been recognized for some time by the Native Dog Landcare Group who undertook some important work at the site, particularly for the identification and monitoring of key bird and frog species and other animals that use the site.

Tree Planting Day 2016

Students from Berrigan Public School, St Columba’s Catholic Primary School, Savernake Public School and Cobram & District Specialist School planted over 400 trees at Native Dog Swamp on National School Tree Planting Day, 29 July 2016.

Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre organised and ran the event with funding from Murray Local Land Services and the Australian Government. Event organiser, Mr Owen Dunlop, said the day was a great success, with students learning about the importance of trees in the ecosystem.

Events were held across Australia for National Tree Planting Day. For more information on National Tree Planting Day head to http://treeday.planetark.org/.

Berrigan Primary School students during the tree planting day. Photos: Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre. 

Download a PDF copy of the Native Dog Swamp factsheet here.

Further Information
Sarah Ning (Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd.) 0427 376 157 or
Murray Local Land Services (including for Travelling Stock Route related enquiries) (02) 6051 2250

Native Dog Directions Map (2)

 

 

1. Source: Freudenberger, David and Stol, Jacqui (2002) SAND Farmscapes Project: Integrating production and biodiversity. CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra. A report commissioned by the Native Dog Landcare Group (sub-committee of Berrigan Shire, NSW)


Our address

Address:
Native Dog Swamp Reserve, corner Berrigan-Yarrawonga Road & Craigs Road, Berrigan.
GPS:
-35.78333330000001, 145.86008510589602

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Comments (2)

  1. Andrea Mitchell  |  

    Bird hide looks great and used it in spring. So disappointed to see stock on it in the last few weeks, with vegetation eaten down to nothing, degraded grey wattle stand ruined and area Savernake Public school planted out years ago overgrazed too

    • Shanna Rogers  |  

      Hi Andrea,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately a herd of cattle that were permitted to camp overnight at Native Dog TSR have caused some grazing/browsing damage to adjacent shrubs. We have amended our grazing management plan of the site to ensure this does not occur in the future.
      We hope that most of the shrubs will recover now that the stock have been removed, however there were some very old Grey Wattle shrubs that may not. We will monitor the site over the next year to assess the recovery of the Grey Wattle and also the area that was planted by Savernake Public School.

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