• LOCATION 30 | Escape to Coochiemudlo Island

    Paper trees

    Keep going over the wooden walkway.

    Look at these wonderful old-growth trees. Some of them have lost their limbs, but often they'll start sprouting again.

    Because of the erosion of the beach, parts of the wetlands have started to become very open, and people have been leaving tracks as they attempt to walk through to the beach.

    Melaleuca trees like swampy soil, and we call them paperbarks. Wherever you see them growing, you'll know that the land is prone to flooding.

    We have a lot of birds on Coochie. You might be able to hear or spot honeyeaters in the wetlands, including the Blue-Faced Honeyeaters and the Red-headed Honeyeaters. Coochie is one of the few places in the world where a bird might run into you by mistake, there are just so many of them!

    In the 1970s, a conference was held in Iran at a place called Ramsar, and that gathering determined that in order to help protect water birds migrating, areas would be kept for them to 'overnight' in. This area was declared part of that Ramsar Wetland, included with various other areas of Moreton Bay set aside for migrating water birds.

    Unfortunately, the declaration hasn't really worked. We used to have Magpie Geese and Black Cockatoos here, but we haven't seen them for a long time.

    The big problem for migrating water birds is that they need places to stop all the way to the Arctic, but a lot of countries have just built over their wetlands, putting up wharves and things like that. So the birds find it harder and harder to migrate.

    Where the wetlands come to an end, we'll emerge onto a gravel road. I'll meet you there.

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