When asked to describe what growing up by Lake Nunbank was like Adam Clark does not hold back; “We had the most glorious childhood you could ever imagine,” he says, “We had thousands upon thousands of acres of country and beautiful wetlands.”
Adam Clark was one of the locals Alluvium spoke to along the Palm Tree Creek and Robinson Creek in March 2013. The seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands on these creeks in the Banana Shire of Queensland are listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands. Alluvium is tasked with building the knowledge base on these wetlands, their flora, fauna, hydrology, geomorphology and natural history.
Myself and collegue Leonie Duncan are the ‘natural history team’ for the project and we were lucky enough to visit Taroom and the surrounding country which put on its best show for our visit in autumn. The landowners, who are almost all cattle farmers, have cared for these wetlands for generations. They shared with us their memories of these important features of their land. They told some great stories about the character of these wetlands and also changes they have seen in them over time, with some memories reaching back to the early 1900’s.
The ‘swamps’, as they are called by many locals, were great for fishing and swimming and provided a setting for large gatherings with neighbours. The landowners recalled the ever present bird life including brolgas, plain turkeys, swans, pelicans and all kinds of ducks. They've seen droughts and floods and remarkable demonstrations of the resilience that is characteristic of wetlands and the wildlife that rely on them. We saw for ourselves there is still a great diversity of life including flowering water lilies and abundant dragonflies, testifying to the health of these wetlands.
We left after just a few days wishing we had more time to stay and enjoy all that these wetlands and the district of Taroom had to offer.
Taroom is known for cattle farming