Contact Call | Volume 11 Number 1 | March 2022
I was excited to see more than 40 people turn up to Cattana Wetlands for our World Wetlands Day celebration on 5 February 2022. The actual World Wetlands Day is 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) in Iran, on 2 February 1971.
This year we decided to go out and enjoy our local wetlands. We were so fortunate that Jabiru volunteers, Geoff McClure and Denis Moeser took group leader roles and explained the work they had done in recent years in Cattana Wetlands, as part of Cairns Regional Council’s Green Space Our Place volunteer program. It is amazing the impact that volunteers can have to create a huge difference to our environment and community.
Thank you, Geoff and Denis; and thank you Dave Anderson, from Cairns Birders, for discussing the birds in Cattana Wetlands at the Jabiru Lake viewing platform. Dave has done several bird surveys in the past and has been updating the original 2013 Cattana birds list. The final compiled list is awaiting publication.
Geoff and Denis set up two display tables to show nest boxes and the weed species that they have been trying to manage. The management of Cattana seems to have two aspects: controlling weeds (Navua Sedge and Para Grass etc.), and enhancing the biodiversity (installed nest boxes, new shallow wetland, sticks and logs in ponds). It seems to be working very well and volunteers have done an amazing job. Then it makes me think about what we can do as members of BirdLife. I would suggest we visit the park more, and report interesting sightings and expand the list of fauna so that we can prove that the biodiversity of Cattana is improving.
The highlights of our celebration were two Sugar Gliders in the nest boxes installed by Denis Moeser. He used a pole camera that had been gifted to Cattana by The Friends of the Botanic Gardens (FOBG), Cairns, and showed us the sleepy gliders as a live show. One Spotted Whistling-Duck was seen in the middle of Jacana Pond. On the way back, we checked the nest of Black Bittern, but unfortunately it was empty.
Overall, it was a great day out to celebrate World Wetlands Day in fresh air with like-minded friends who care about our wetlands.
Article and images by Mikey (Hidetoshi) Kudo.
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