The Barmah/Millewah Forest

Mind Map by WNRazor, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by WNRazor almost 6 years ago


Discover in-depth knowledge about Australia's largest River Red Gum forest and the biggest ecosystem of its type in the world.

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The Barmah/Millewah Forest
1 Nature of the Forest
1.1 66, 000 hectares of floodplain, covering regions of Echuca, Tocumwal and Deniliquin, of the Murray Darling Basin, in Australia is covered by the expanse of the Barmah and Millewah forest; the river red gum ecosystem is the largest in the world and the area of the space it takes is the largest in Australia. Recurring spring floods give aid into keeping the red gums healthy and prospering.
1.1.1 The River Red Gum Forest is located north-east of Echuca, and is technically an icon of the Murray-Darling Basin. It falls under the state of Victoria.
1.1.2 The ecosystem is home to many endangered native vegetation and fauna. It also serves well for the native fish habitat, and is relatively known to be a breeding area for waterbirds.
1.1.3 According to The Conservation, approximately 20 000 years ago marked a geological event which hoisted a region of land, thus blocking the waterways of the Murray. The water flooded, creating a lake; the river passed around the landform. This flooding causes the wetlands to remain as they are to this day. The narrow channel here is thereby known as the Barmah Choke.
2 Australia is known for many natural wonders: Uluru, Kakadu and the Blue Mountains are among the few well-known landmarks- but what about the off-the-grid wonders, such as the Barmah-Millewah Forest?
3 Fauna
3.1 Among the Red Gums are various birds, all of which migrate to these wetlands from temperate/warmer climates. These birds include the ibis, egrets, cormorants and spoonbills.
3.1.1 The Superb Parrot and the Freckled Duck are among the number of species which use the Barmah-Millewah Forest as a reliable habitat for breeding.
3.2 An analogy between birds and the other very proficient type of animal occur here, and that is fish. In this icon, the iconic Murray cod is found around the vicinities, as well as a number of different fish, such as crayfish. To be precise, three species of crayfish thrive in different habitats-yabbies find their life flowing in the lakes, swamp yabbies in the SWAMPY floodplains and the Murray crayfish in the rivers.
4 The wide range of habitats across the forest, including swamps, lakes and grasslands, mean that a variety of animals and vegetation can survive in this ecosystem. This variety includes 273 native fauna and 553 native flora species.
5 Flora
5.1 The forest is known for its Red Gums which are situated on the actual floodplains.
5.2 The other species of plant thriving on the lands above the water include the black box trees.
5.3 Callitris pines are scattered along the sand plains of the forest.
6 Threats
6.1 Natural
6.1.1 As in almost all of Australia's wonders, there are many threats to this ecosystem. The invasion of weeds and assorted, exotic animals are growing larger and larger every year. Wild horses and carp are becoming a nuisance, with the latter common in almost all waterways in the Murray-Darling Basin. Turtles, which are apparently culturally significant to the local Aborigines, also fall prey to foxes.
6.1.2 The ever-lasting droughts occurring in almost all of the Murray-Darling Basin have affected the Barmah-Millewah significantly: the grasslands and Red Gums require regular/frequent floods, respectively, to prosper, let alone the multiple birds which can breed only under conditions of flood. The Red Gums and grassfields are growing out of their normal habitat, threatening the whole environment of the forest.
6.2 Man-Made
6.2.1 For 40 000 years, the Barmah-Millewah had remained unperturbed, but as European settlement began to expand, many exotic animals were introduced, such as the wild horse. Before the Europeans' interference, fish were at their normal and highest breeding rate-now, the number is only 10% of the original. Carp is also an introduced species, threatening to take over the fish kingdom of the Barmah-Millewah.
7 Solutions to the Issues
7.1 Environmental water has also been used to prolong natural floods, as they are fundamental to breeding of many native animals, especially birds.
7.1.1 One of the projects trying to restore the forest's water includes a proposal for giving hundreds of gigalitres of water to the expanse of forest. This would be to produce flood-like conditions needed for many animals to thrive.
7.2 Humans are trying to revert the forest to its original conditions by employing engineers to fit in a system of water regulators, such as canals. These were to be used to prevent further wastage of water.
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