The Ecology Group of the Jericho and Alice Rivers
Responding to ongoing concerns about the post-flood changes to these two ephemeral rivers that transverse the southern desert Uplands Bioregion, The Committee conceived, detailed and successfully sought funding to proactively investigate, monitor and access these riparian areas, and work with landholders whose properties they flow through to improve recovery post-flooding.
Nine grazing properties were included in the eventual three rounds of EGJAR Projects. The first Project surveyed river bank country between Jericho and Barcaldine, to document and share diversity assets, threats and issues. Pertinent post floods was checking extent of scalding and sand barrages, fresh or re-emergent weed infestation, cane toad counts and water quality. Multiple monitoring sites were set-up with landholders upskilled in doing environmental checks.
Data from the first project indicated water quality issues in ponding post-floods, so the two consequential projects elevated and intensified this water testing to ensure detrimental effects from the preceding wild fires were contained during the dry-out. Also, weedwork became part of these projects, along with partners (council and state departments) to strategically contain outbreaks spread and grown from floodwaters. Information and learnings were shared during two Field Days, and led to further weed spraying work along the entirety of the two rivers, and Grader Field Days with Darryl Hill, as it was clear the design and maintenance of roads, tracks, clearings and fencelines leading into and within these sandy riparian zones are critical regarding flood events.