My previous post mentioned Yorta Yorta lands. For international readers this country is on the Murray river, Australia’s largest waterway. Since white settlement the river has been transformed into a channel for irrigators. Currently almost no river water reaches the sea. Prior to settlement the Murray regularly flooded into an enormous braided river system at snow melt, but would sometimes cease to flow entirely in summer as can be seen here in 1915 drought.
Species which evolved over millenia to live with this cycle now has to cope with a regulated flow regime. Some species like white necked heron have adapted, but others like white breasted sea eagle are now listed as threatened.
The gorgeous Azure kingfisher alcedo azurea is another Near Threatened species (depi advisory list), I felt very fortunate to see these and you’ll hear my amazment looking through the viewfinder. (apology for sound)
It has taken whitefellas several generations to realize our largest rivers are dying. Water is at last being allocated for ‘environmental flows’. This is Hattah WITH its water allocation earlier this year.
The photo below gives an idea of size, I’m no expert but I’d guess these trees are pushing 1000yrs old, which makes our little lives seem so insignificant. We have been cutting these ancient woodlands up to make railway sleepers and for firewood. Victorian side of the river has just ceased this practise in Barmah National Park, however the northern NSW side is still being logged (forestry).
Tree with man standing, Yorta Yorta lands.