Significant flooding in the Kimberley region has caused substantial destruction to the area and affected AWC’s Mornington-Marion Downs and Charnley River-Artesian Range Wildlife Sanctuaries. All employees and researchers have been evacuated and Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is working to assess the damage and take first steps on what will be a long recovery journey.
The effects of the floods may take years to recover from, but you can support boots on the ground to repair, restore and future-proof operations in northern Western Australia.
Your donation today will support AWC to get boots back on the ground in the Kimberley.
All donations of AU$2 or more to AWC are tax deductible within Australia. All our supporters receive our regular newsletter, Wildlife Matters and periodic e-news and are welcome to participate in AWC events and volunteer programs.
As soon as possible, we will send a team from Broome to Mornington and Charnley River to carry out an initial assessment of the flood’s impact. The water level at Mornington reached above the floor height of the research centre and the restaurant and inundated many of the staff accommodation buildings; it is likely there will be extensive damage to equipment, vehicles and buildings.
Cleaning out the buildings and restoring power and water will be the first steps towards re-establishing a safe and secure work environment. As with any flood event, the aftermath will be muddy and messy. At this stage we can’t be sure how much equipment might need replacing; an early priority will be taking stock of infrastructure, survey gear and IT equipment that was on site.
Animals and plants in Northern Australia have evolved in the context of a dramatically seasonal monsoon climate, with a long dry season and an intense and variable wet season. Many species are well-adapted (and even depend upon) periods of heavy rainfall. However, this record-breaking event serves as another example of extreme weather events getting more extreme as climate change accelerates. Most land animals and birds are able to move to higher ground or seek refuge in the canopy of tall trees. There will likely have been some impact on populations of less mobile species in low-lying areas, and those which depend closely on riparian vegetation. Nonetheless, the heavy rainfall across the region will trigger a flourish of plant growth and insect activity, which in turn will be a boost to wildlife.
The Purple-crowned Fairy-wren population at Mornington, which has been the subject of a long-running Monash University research program, will likely have taken a hit from the floods. Nonetheless, the heavy rainfall across the region will trigger a flourish of plant growth and insect activity, which in turn will be a boost to wildlife.
AWC have suspended bookings for Mornington Wilderness Camp visits and donations to assist our recovery efforts are greatly appreciated. This is an ongoing situation and AWC will share appropriate information as it evolves. If we are able to safely re-open Mornington Wilderness Camp to visitors in 2023, bookings will reopen via our website.
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