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A pool or wetland on Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

Rotala tripartita (no common name) is a recent discovery in the billabong at Sportsmans Creek Conservation Area. Listed as a Threatened and Endangered Species in N.S.W. this short-lived perennial herb grows up to 40cm high in free-standing water with sedges. Considered Rare in N.S.W. and only recorded from Grafton to Casino.

Discovery, image and identification courtesy of John and Pat Edwards.

Rotala tripartita Beesley : Lythraceae

An aquatic, perennial native herb. An important food source for Waterfowl. “This plant may be a hidden resource, eventually seen as a valuable cellulose feed  stock in a biofuel refinery. Cellulose ethanol could also be a future jet fuel source”. Found in the riparian zone on the Conservation Area.

Further reading ; 

Fresh floodwaters coursing to the billabong augur well for the biodiversity across the wildlife refuge.

“Common small heron with white face and throat and yellow legs. Widespread in shallow wetland, margins of swamps” and billabongs where this image was taken on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. “Abundant almost throughout Australia in permanent or temporary habitats.”

Reference;   Morcombe, M.    Field Guide to Australian Birds.

“Habitat; well vegetated banks of creeks, swamps, lakes, mangroves. Status; common where habitat remains suitable, mainly in the far north, otherwise uncommon; mostly sedentary, some migratory”. Image taken while bird feeding on tadpoles in a billabong at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge.

Reference;  Morcombe, M.    Field Guide to Australian Birds.

The Swamp Lily is a tufted aquatic perennial herb. The leaves float and are elliptical in shape. Found in a billabong on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. These freshwater wetlands are associated with coastal areas subject to periodic flooding and are classified as Endangered Ecological Communities throughout New South Wales.

The fresh waters of a seasonal billabong next to Sportsman Creek. These still waters attract and provide for a myriad of  Threatened species all inter-dependent for one another’s survival.

Image showing water flowing from the mainstream of Sportsman creek only in time of flood to form a small backwater or billabong on the refuge.

Scroll image for enlargement.

One of the more lasting benefits from the May floodwaters was the creation of  2 semi-permanent billabongs along the western and southern side of the island  at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. Each of these small billabongs is over 250 metres and provide abundant habitat for Water rat, Eastern Water Dragon lizards, crustaceans and amphibians.