Flood waters arrive at Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary
In late May at Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary floodwaters from north-west Queensland arrived in the Warburton Creek on Kalamurina. The water had been flowing down the Diamantina-Warburton catchment for two months, travelling more than 1,000 kilometres. In a matter of hours, the dry bed of the Warburton Creek filled with water, promising new life for the precious ecosystems on Kalamurina which have received virtually no rain for six months. Within days, the water had reached the shore of Kata Thandi-Lake Eyre and was slowly spreading across the bed of Australia’s largest lake.
It is a spectacular site, witnessed by very few people. Kalamurina covers 660,000 hectares including the north shore of Lake Eyre and the last 200 kilometres of the Warburton Creek – 65 per cent of all water entering Lake Eyre flows through this system, which lies at the intersection of three deserts (the Simpson Desert, the Tirari Desert and Sturt’s Stony Desert).
The property makes an immense contribution to the conservation of the region, protecting a range of ecosystems concentrated in the lower reaches of the basin. The arrival of the floodwater will deliver a boost to the productivity of these ecosystems by driving a new burst of growth and supporting aquatic life which, in turn, will attract an influx of water birds.
The section of the Warburton Creek on Kalamurina is the only stretch of this iconic river which is managed for conservation. The absence of cattle grazing, and our intensive feral animal control, means that the lignum thickets and floodplain vegetation is in exceptional condition.
However, feral animals such as feral cattle, pigs and cats will also look to take advantage of these boom conditions – the challenge for AWC is to step up our feral animal control along the Warburton Creek to preserve the ecological benefits of this precious flood event.