WetlandCare Australia as part of their Coastal 20 Wetlands Project has recently completed environmental restoration works in the Belongil Estuary in Byron to improve the overall health of the catchment. One of the focuses of the works has been an area of endangered Littoral Rainforest which is adjacent to Belongil Creek on the property.
The WetlandCare Australia bush regeneration team has been working with North Byron Beach Resort to undertake weed control through an area of 11 hectares of this important vegetation community. Weed species controlled through the project included Lantana and Ground Asparagus which are both Weeds of National Significance and were severely threatening the health of the area. WetlandCare Australia Project Officers also located active fox dens at the site and with the help of the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities were able to undertake control activities. The removal of these predators had an immediate impact as the endangered Pied Oystercatchers which nest at the nearby Belongil Spit successfully fledged two chicks for the first time in a number of years.
Restoration works are now set to continue with North Byron Beach Resort working in partnership with WetlandCare Australia to maintain the works long-term to ensure the continued health of the site. As part of this work, WetlandCare Australia and North Byron Beach Resort will also continue to monitor for fox activity in the area to help protect the important nesting shorebirds of the Belongil spit, which is known as incredibly critical habitat for these protected species.
Adam Gosling, Coastal 20 Project Manager for WetlandCare Australia, commented that “The Belongil Estuary has significant environmental, recreational and cultural values and is home to many threatened fauna and flora species. It’s great that North Byron Beach Resort are going to continue to support and work with WetlandCare Australia to protect and restore this important area of native vegetation on their land into the future.”
The Belongil catchment is one of the 20 iconic Australian coastal wetlands which are part of WetlandCare Australia’s $2.5 million Coastal 20 wetlands restoration project, funded under the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program. The Coastal 20 project is working to restore coastal wetlands spanning from Gladstone in southern Queensland down to Kempsey in northern NSW.