Research

Facilities

The Wetlands and Wildlife Centre provides short term accommodation, lecture space, basic laboratory facilities and secure storage for equipment for research students, undergraduates and secondary school classes. When not in use for these purposes it is available for hire by adult education and other interest groups such as bird watchers, artists and photographers or anyone looking for a peaceful break. The Centre has six twin rooms with ample space for camping for larger classes.  There is a fully equipped kitchen.

 Basic field laboratory facilities include a field microscope, portable spectrophotometer, salinity and pH probes for testing water and soil quality and an assortment of vegetation and invertebrate sampling equipment. An outdoor lecture area and bird hides are planned as soon as funding permits. This facility is located in the heart of the Watervalley Wetlands between Cortina Lakes, Mandina Lake and the Mandina Marshes. It is also close to very large tracts of intact native terrestrial vegetation with its associated fauna as well as pasture. Several sets of pitfall traps for live-trapping of small mammals, reptiles and frogs have been established and these are available for use by appropriately qualified and licensed researchers/students.  The Centre is therefore ideally placed for studies of the ecology of wetlands and associated individual species as well as the ecology of terrestrial systems. There are also opportunities for students to study the interface between agricultural land and native habitat. Previously, the School of Natural and Built Environments in the University of South Australia and Westminster School in Adelaide have made use of the facility for students of ecology, wildlife management, tourism and art. Students of other institutions would be similarly welcomed.

Monitoring

Monitoring stations at six of the Watervalley Wetlands were set up by staff from the University of South Australia (Uni-SA) in 1992 to measure changes in water chemistry and the effect of those changes on the aquatic macro-invertebrate community. In 1994 monitoring of changes in the aquatic vegetation and use of the wetlands by waterbirds were added. Since 2005, a part time employee has continued the monitoring, supported initially by the Upper South East Dryland Salinity and Flood Management Program (USE Program) of the South Australian Government. Government funding is ceased at the end of 2009 and is currently under review. The monitoring has continued through the support of membership and donations to Wetlands & Wildlife. Water quality is monitored monthly, waterbirds seasonally and vegetation annually. It is our intention to continue this monitoring project for many years hence, as the effect of drainage under the USE Program has impacted most of the wetlands in the region and it is essential to record that impact and adapt the management of the wetlands accordingly.

Vegetation monitoring points were set up in 2005 to measure the effects of the 1 500 ha Morella Revegetation Project and in 2006 student volunteers from the Environmental Management Unit at Uni-SA began monitoring the vertebrate community on Morella. This monitoring is now conducted by the Scientific Expedition Group. The monitoring will track the changes in vegetation and fauna as the revegetated plants mature. The monitoring at Morella is particularly valuable because it is one of the few such projects able to provide data both before and after the event.

A major bushfire burnt about two thirds of the Bonneys Camp Heritage Agreement Area in January 1995 and the recovery of the vegetation was monitored.

To support our Environmental Research and Monitoring Appeal, see donation instructions on the Donations page.

For further information contact Janice White.

Email: janwhite@optusnet.com.au or telephone 08 8379 7467

Projects in Progress

Monitoring the Vertebrate Community of Morella: Scientific Expedition Group.

Environmental Monitoring of the Watervalley Wetlands. Funded by Wetlands and Wildlife with contributions from SA State Government programs.

Publications

List of Completed Research Projects and other Publications

Arnold, S. (1995). A study to identify the options for nature based tourism and other outdoor activities in the Watervalley Wetlands, South Australia. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia (Uni-SA). Funded by Uni-SA and Wetlands and Wildlife (W & W).

Birrell, M.A. (2003) Experimental manipulation of temporary wetlands for the rehabilitation of wildlife habitat in the Watervalley Wetlands, Upper South East of South Australia. Thesis for Degree of Master of Applied Science. University of South Australia. Funded by Natural Heritage Trust, Wildlife Conservation Fund SA (WCFSA), Uni-SA and W & W.

Cardello, M. (1992). Macro-invertebrates as bio-indicators of water quality in the Watervalley Wetlands South East, South Australia. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

De Jong, M (1994). The effects of altering the diversity of the structure of habitat in a seasonal swamp in the Watervalley Wetlands upper south east of South Australia. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

Harper, M., and Weinert, M. (1992). Revised by White, J.M. (1999, 2007). Watervalley Wetlands and Heritage Agreement Areas: Management Plan.  Wetlands and Wildlife. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and Wetlands & Wildlife.

Jervois, M. (2008). Environmental Monitoring of the Watervalley Wetlands 2007-2008. Funded by USE Program and Wetlands and Wildlife.

Jervois, M. (2008).Vegetation Monitoring Report: Morella. Wetlands & Wildlife

McKenzie-McHarg, A. (1998). Small vertebrate assemblages associated with riparian zones of the Watervalley Wetlands in the upper south east of South Australia.  Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

 Roetman, J. (2006, 2007). Environmental Analysis of the Watervalley Wetlands 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Funded by Upper South East Program and Wetlands and Wildlife.

Sharrad, R.D. (1999) Assessing the impacts of drains on native vegetation at Watervalley in the upper south east. Funded by the Native Vegetation Council of SA, Uni-SA and W & W.

Stokes, Z. & Kuys, J. (2003). Wetlands & Wildlife "Morella" Revegetation Plan. Rural Solutions SA.

Telfer, W.R. (2000) The Biodiversity and Natural History of Warraweena. Nature Conservation Society of South Australia Inc. Funded by NHT and NCSSA.

Tesoriero, J. (1998). Factors affecting the distribution and abundance of the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in the upper south east of South Australia. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

Thompson, D. (1997). The spatial distribution of the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) and several environmental variables on the Watervalley properties in the upper south east of South Australia. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

Valamanesh, A. (2005). Monitoring of Morella Farm. Funded by the Commonwealth Government's Envirofund and W & W.

Wainwright, P. (1997). The dispersal of plant propagules by ducks in the Watervalley Wetlands of the upper south-east of South Australia. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

Walton, A. (1994). The distribution of wetland associated plants in the Watervalley Wetlands upper south east of South Australia and a program for monitoring the distribution and composition of wetland vegetation. Thesis for Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours). School of Environmental and Recreation Management. University of South Australia. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

White, J. M. (1999). Seasonal variation in salinity in the Watervalley wetlands in the south east of South Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. 123, 77-80. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

White, J.M. (1998). The Watervalley Wetlands of South Australia: Nomination as Wetlands of International Importance. Wetlands and Wildlife. Funded by W & W and the Natural Heritage Trust.

White, J.M. (2000). Warraweena Management Plan. W & W. Funded by W & W and Natural Heritage Trust.

White, J.M. (2007). Watervalley Wetlands and Habitat and Wildlife Management Areas, Upper South East South Australia. Management Plan: Revision II. W & W.

White, J.M. and Brake, L.A. (1995). Description, history and water chemistry of the recently restored Watervalley Wetlands in the southeast of South Australia. Wetlands.15, 247-257. Funded by WCFSA, Uni-SA and W & W.

White, J.M Burnard, J.R. & Sharrad RD, 2001 Fire and the management of species of conservation significance in the Bonneys Camp Heritage Area in the Upper South East. Funded by the Native Vegetation Council of SA, Uni-SA and W & W.

White, J.M. and White, T.C.R. (2005). Macro-invertebrates captured in artificial substrates in the restored Watervalley Wetlands in South Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of S. Aust. 129 (1), 25- 38.

Whitten, S.M. & Bennett, J.W. (1998) Private and social values of wetlands. Funded by Environment Australia, LLRRDC, and the University of New South Wales.

Jervois, M. (2008) Morella Vegetation Report. Wetlands & Wildlife.

Jervois, M. (2013) Environmental Analysis of the Watervalley Wetlands, South Australia; Year 8, 2012-2013. Wetlands & Wildlife.

Jervois, M. (2015) Environmental Analysis of the Watervalley Wetlands, South Australia; Year 10, 2014-2015. Wetlands & Wildlife.

Jervois, M. and Powell, G. (2014) Environmental Analysis of the Watervalley Wetlands, South Australia; Year 9. 2013-2014. Wetlands & Wildlife.

Love, J. (Ed.) (2013) Morella Vertebrate Survey. Scientific Expedition Group.

Powell G. (2010) Environmental Analysis of the Watervalley Wetlands; 2009 – 2010 Monitoring Report (Year 5). Wetlands & Wildlife.

Reports not published in Journals may be accessed by contacting Wetlands & Wildlife.