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Arafura swamp water resources study



Arafura swamp water resources study


Williams, D.; Chudleigh, I.; Jolly, P.


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; 45/2003




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).





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Dept. of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment

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Report ; 45/2003

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28 grade into eucalypt open forest and woodland, which continue onto the footslopes. Other specific communities include tall reedland at the southern end of the swamp where the Goyder River enters, and floating mat communities on the billabongs and waterways. There are large areas of high quality, undisturbed monsoon forest. In the Mirrngadja region there is a considerable number of monsoon forest species otherwise regarded as exclusively coastal in their distribution. The swamp is an important refuge and breeding area for birds, fish and the fresh water (CROCODYLUS JOHNSTONI) and salt water (CROCODYLUS POROSUS) crocodiles. The area supports abundant waterbirds including magpie geese, pygmy geese, black duck and whistling duck. Condition and Integrity: The Arafura Wetlands and catchment are in a relatively pristine condition, in part due to its remote locality and restricted access to European influences, and difficulties of access to feral animals. Feral buffalo and domestic and feral cattle are present, although in low numbers. This should remain so with the completion of the BTEC program in 1992 (Russell-Smith and Bowman 1991). Surveys in 1989 indicated feral pigs do not occur in the area (Bayliss and Yeomans 1989a, b). The swamp is free of the major noxious weeds common to many Top End habitats such as MIMOSA PIGRA, and the exotic para grass (BRACHIANA MUTICA), neither of which were in the swamp in a 1991 survey. Areas of dead MELALEUCA LEUCADENDRA were recorded in the southern and middle sections of the swamp in the 1991 survey. It is postulated this was caused by cyclonic winds, although further studies are indicated. The fringes of the swamp, coastal grasslands and hinterland are burnt annually in a traditional burning regime. The remaining community is re-establishing limited pastoral activities in the vicinity of the Old Arafura Homestead. Location: About 172,000ha, 7km south-east of Ramingining, enclosed by straight lines joining the following AMG points consecutively: MG980430, NG100430, NG260030, NF260860, MF880860, MG880180 and commencement point. Bibliography: Bayliss P.G And Yeomans K.M (1989a). Distribution and Abundance of Feral Livestock in the Top End of the Northern Territory (1985-1986) and their Relation to Population Control. Aust. Wild. Res. 16, 651-76. Bayliss P.G And Yeomans K.M (1989b). Aerial Survey Of Buffalo, Cattle and Bali Cattle in The Top End of The Northern Territory and Adjacent Areas, 1989. Report To BTEC Administration, Department of Primary Industries And Fisheries, NT. Berndt, R.M. (1952) Djanggawul. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London. Briggs J.D and Leigh, J.H (1984). Delineation of Important Habitats of Rare and Threatened Plant Species in the Northern Territory. Brock J. (1988) Top End Native Plants. John Brock, Darwin, NT. Brouwer J. and Garnett S. (Eds.) (1990). Threatened Birds Of Australia - An Annotated List. ANPWS, Royal Australian Ornithologists Union Report No 68. Conservation Commission Of The Northern Territory (Unpublished) Arafura Swamp: Vegetation Communities. Draft Internal Report, CCNT. Russell-Smith J. And Bowan D.M.J.S (1991). Conservation of Monsoon Rainforest Isolates in the Northern Territory, Australia. Biological Conservation. Wilson, B.A, Brocklehurst, P.S., Clark M.J. and Dickinson K.J.M (1990) Vegetation Survey of the Northern Territory, Australia. Technical Report No. 49, CCNT.