Residents are being urged to get to know their local parklands to celebrate World Wetlands Day on 2 February.
Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said Maroondah has various wetlands that attract an array of flora and fauna.
“Wetlands play such an important role in creating ecosystems that support various populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. These animals are often not found anywhere else,” Cr Makin said.
“Wetlands also help to absorb pollutants which can be washed off our roads and roofs into the storm water system, which leads to improved water quality for our rivers and creeks,” Cr Makin said.
“Ringwood Lake is probably one of the best known wetlands in Maroondah, but there are other hidden treasures worth taking the time to explore,” Cr Makin said.
“Candlebark Walk Reserve in Croydon Hills is an important link in the habitat corridor that extends from Warranwood Reserve to Yarrunga Reserve,” Cr Makin said.
“For the keen bird watchers, the reserve is home to the Purple Swamp Hen, Australian Wood-duck, Little Pied Cormorant and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, to name a few,” Cr Makin said.
“If you’re lucky you may even spot a koala, wallaby or echidna in the area,” Cr Makin said.
Other wetlands in Maroondah worth exploring are Yarrunga Reserve, Settler Orchard Reserve and Narr Maen Reserve, all of which are in Croydon Hills.
New wetlands are also being constructed as part of residential development sites in Maroondah including The Range in Croydon and Bayview Rise in Bayswater North.
World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997 to mark the signing of the Convention on Wetlands which took place in 1971 in a small Iranian town called Ramsar. The Convention is now commonly referred to as the Ramsar Convention.
“During the time of the signing there was concern from many countries about the declining number of wetlands and waterbirds. It was hoped the international treaty would help to prevent further loss of wetlands by providing countries with a framework for action and establish an international cooperation aimed at the conservation and wise use of wetlands,” Cr Makin said.
“For the past 40 years the annual World Wetlands Day has provided an opportunity for all levels of government and community groups to raise public awareness of the critical role wetlands play in maintaining our natural environment,” Cr Makin said.
The theme for World Wetlands Day 2011 is “wetlands and forests – forests for water and wetlands” in celebration of the United Nations International Year of Forests.
– ENDS –