Funds boost bird habitats in SA's Coorong

SA's Coorong and Lower Lakes will benefit from $10m of funding to improve waterbird habitats.
SA's Coorong and Lower Lakes will benefit from $10m of funding to improve waterbird habitats.

The federal and South Australian governments will spend $10 million to improve the quality and availability of waterbird habitats throughout SA's Coorong and Lower Lakes.

Federal Resources and Water Minister Keith Pitt says the project will support local jobs and the community through work on maintaining and repairing iconic wetlands.

"To maintain and improve the health of this iconic site, it is critical that these interventions are made to improve food availability across key wetlands," Mr Pitt said.

"By working to increase the availability of shallow wading habitats, this project will provide jobs and support greater numbers of shorebirds by providing important refuge habitat for species that would otherwise use the Coorong South Lagoon.

"This is a win for the local economies and the environment."

Under the plan, small-scale wetland management infrastructure will be constructed at three priority wetland sites at Tolderol, Waltowa and Teringie with regulators, pumps, pipes and earthworks put in place to manage water levels.

South Australian Environment Minister David Speirs said the work would provide foraging habitats for seven target waterbird species, including the common greenshank, curlew sandpiper, sharp-tailed sandpiper and red-capped plover.

"Upon completion, we expect this will provide more than 260 hectares of high-quality habitat with carrying capacity for more than 15,000 of the seven target species," he said.

Local federal MP Tony Pasin said the Coorong was an internationally recognised wetland that welcomed thousands of domestic and international visitors each year.

"It's a delicate eco-system supporting many significant and endangered flora and fauna," he said.

"Improving the Coorong's waterbird habitat is critical, not only for the biodiversity of this iconic environmental asset but also the tourism that is so important to the local economy."

Australian Associated Press