Big Wet A Boon for Bendigo Environment

THE environment around Bendigo is booming thanks to the rain that has washed through the region.

Department of Sustainability and Environment staff are marvelling at the species that have returned and look set to stay around a little while longer.

Biodiveristy team leader Alison Oppermann said seeds had fallen from plants during the decade of drought but had needed the rain to germinate.

With more than double the yearly rainfall average falling this year, the wait is being rewarded.

“This season is prolific. There’s a huge amount of biodiversity coming up,” she said.

“It’s amazing to see what species come up.”

Ms Oppermann said undergrowth was flowering and the orchid season was longer and with a wide variety. She said insects were also being drawn to the returning growth.

“There’s the insects coming and feeding off the flowers,” she said.

“There will be an increase in the things that prey on them.

“It’s a food chain, and the final step in the chain is the predators, so there will be a booming things like wedge-tailed eagles.”

Ms Oppermann said this year had already seen more than 50,000 extra ibis birds return to wetlands in and around Bendigo, but that the wetlands also meant more mosquitos.

“People will have noticed it’s going to be a bumper year for mozzies,” she said.

“It means there will be more frogs, invertebrates and tortoises.

“They’re like humans, they need water to survive.

“This is the boom, there’s plenty of water to replenish stocks.”

But Ms Oppermann said the downside of the rain was that it had delayed the arrival of some animals in the region.

“Reptiles and the Eltham copper butterflies are only just starting now,” she said.

“They need the warmer weather.

“But it might mean the (butterflies) are then able to fly further into January.”


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