The Australian painted snipe in the Wetlands.
The Australian painted snipe in the Wetlands.

Bird fanciers all a twitter about protecting site

AS THE Federal Government investigates whether a return to farming would be in breach of environmental laws on the Yandina Creek Wetlands, other environmental and community groups have got behind the push to protect the site.

BirdLife Australia's Southern Queensland convenor Judith Hoyle said the wetlands were some of the most impressive she'd come across in her global bird-watching travels, and believed there was a real ecotourism opportunity.

"There's real potential for these wetlands from the glimpses I've seen with the layout of the land and the ground cover," she said.

She said the fact it was a tidal wetland meant it was more or less self-managing, and thought the preservation of the site could be a boon for the Coast tourism industry, with Australia a hotspot for bird fanciers the world over.

"It's not all about the birds either, there has to be other species in there," she said.

"It's the ideal acquisition under the Environment Levy."

Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast Environment Council liaison Narelle McCarthy echoed the sentiments of Mr Roberts, saying the wetlands held great environmental value, and hoped an extensive environmental survey would eventuate.

"The real extent of the conservation value won't be known until surveys can be undertaken," she said.

"We haven't been able to do a full survey yet although it's highly likely there'd be other species other than birds in those wetlands."

Ms McCarthy said if handled correctly, the site could be a valuable tourism jewel in the Coast's crown.

"A staggering amount of visitors come to Australia for bird watching," she said.

"You could establish bird hides on the site and it could have great potential for ecotourism."

Yandina Creek Wetlands preservation campaigner Greg Roberts said one birding organisation had already offered $4000 to establish a bird hide in the wetlands if the site was acquired for conservation.


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