Southern New England Landcare will host a community gathering to celebrate United Nations International World Wetlands Day, at the Mother of Ducks Lagoon in Guyra next week.
"We are excited to be hosting this event, as February 2 is the first year that World Wetlands Day will be observed as a United Nations international day, following its adoption by the General Assembly on 30th August 2021," said Southern New England Landcare coordinator Struan Ferguson.
"This is the second community gathering we've hosted, in partnership with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, to further the development of the Mother of Ducks Landcare Group, after unanimous endorsement by the group at a community event we hosted last year."
The Mother of Ducks Lagoon and its immediate surrounds is a threatened ecological community. It is an upland wetland providing a unique habitat for the many birds, animals and plants that need shallow wetlands to flourish.
"We are fortunate to have Dr Stephen Debus as our guest expert on the day, so community members will have an opportunity to learn more about the birds that use this precious natural feature" Ms Ferguson said.
Dr Stephen Debus, an ornithologist from University of New England, will speak on the special birds that live and visit the lagoon, and lead the group in bird watching.
"Of particular significance is the Latham's Snipe, also known as the Japanese Snipe, a medium-sized, long-billed, migratory snipe of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway," Dr Debus said.
"It migrates from its breeding grounds in northern Japan and parts of eastern Russia to the Mother of Ducks Lagoon, among other wetlands along Australia's east coast, from September to March.
"Even though Latham's Snipe is the largest snipe in Australia, they are remarkably difficult to see. They are so well camouflaged, they blend into the background until, with a loud krek! they suddenly burst from their hiding place, only to land somewhere nearby where they become instantly invisible again."
International World Wetlands Day highlights the importance of actions that ensure that wetlands are conserved and sustainably used. It's an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world's wetlands from disappearing, and to restore those we have degraded.
"Many of these upland wetlands on the Northern Tablelands have been damaged in the past, some irreparably, and even Mother of Ducks has been altered significantly", Ms Ferguson said.
"Nevertheless, it remains an important habitat and provides such pleasure to locals and visitors alike because it is beautiful and very accessible being situated on the edge of Guyra and very near the New England Highway."
All are welcome to enjoy brunch together overlooking the lagoon and discuss future activities at the Mother of Ducks Lagoon Picnic Area, McKie Parkway, Guyra. COVID-19 Safe check-ins and proof of vaccination is required for all those attending. BYO: sturdy boots, hat, sunscreen, water, and binoculars.
Tickets are essential at www.stickytickets.com.au/38GAC More information go to www.snelandcare.org.au or call 6772 9123.
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