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Rangers working with kids to fence out pigs on Normanby Station

Story and photos by South Cape York Catchments

Curly and Lily Lagoons look great twelve months after exclusion fencing was put in place
 

Last year the Balnggarrawarra Rangers and South Cape York Catchments (SCYC) hosted students from Holy Spirit College on a wetland improvement project at Normanby Station.

The Station’s Curly and Lily Lagoons were both in really bad condition – they were being badly damaged by feral animals, including pigs, brumbies and feral cattle. It was decided that the lagoons should be fenced to keep the feral animals out, which would help the lagoons recover. The Rangers taught the students how to erect pig fences, and both lagoons were fenced.

Before any works started, the wetlands were monitored using the Cape York Rapid Wetland Assessment Methodology. Curly Lagoon scored 48/100 and Lily Lagoon scored 53/100 – both quite low scores.

It’s been a year now since the lagoons were fenced, and they are looking great! With no feral animals in there, the wetland edges are recovering and vegetation is thriving. They have both been assessed again, and the lagoons scores have both improved considerably – Curly improved from 48 to 72/100, and Lily improved from 53 to 75/100. The team will continue to monitor the lagoons into the future, and hopefully see even greater improvements.

This project provided a great opportunity for the rangers to mentor students from the Holy Spirit College, and to pass on knowledge about caring for country. Along with the fencing, the students also designed interpretative signs to help educate visitors about the lagoons. The students should be proud that their work has had a real impact on these two lagoons.

Big thanks to all the Holy Spirit staff and students involved, to Cape York NRM for funding this National Landcare Program project, to the Department of Environment and Science, and to the Queensland Land and Sea Ranger Program for funding the Balnggarrawarra Rangers.
 

THE RANGERS REALLY ENJOYED MENTORING THE STUDENTS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT COLLEGE
THE RANGERS REALLY ENJOYED MENTORING THE STUDENTS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT COLLEGE

 

INSET ABOVE | CURLY LAGOON WAS BEING BADLY DAMAGED BY FERAL PIGS DIGGING UP THE EDGES PHOTO ABOVE | CURLY LAGOON IS NOW RECOVERING WELL
CURLY LAGOON WAS BEING BADLY DAMAGED BY FERAL PIGS DIGGING UP THE EDGES PHOTO ABOVE | CURLY LAGOON IS NOW RECOVERING WELL

 

CAMERA TRAPS SET ON THE LAGOONS CAPTURED MANY IMAGES OF HORSES, CATTLE AND PIGS IN THE WETLAND PHOTO ABOVE | LILY LAGOON IS RECOVERING WELL, WITH THE AQUATIC PLANTS THRIVING
CAMERA TRAPS SET ON THE LAGOONS CAPTURED MANY IMAGES OF HORSES, CATTLE AND PIGS IN THE WETLAND PHOTO ABOVE | LILY LAGOON IS RECOVERING WELL, WITH THE AQUATIC PLANTS THRIVING