From being an irrigation storage until 2004, Winton Wetlands, covering 8750ha, now rates as the largest wetlands restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere.
With the decommissioning of the storage, and the return of the natural inter-seasonal and inter-annual water levels, a diverse variety of wetlands has been and continues to be restored. As the health of a wetland depends largely on the state of the catchment, restoration of both river red gum and box woodland is on-going both in and around Winton Wetlands.
Restoration efforts entail helping particular plant species, like Cane Grass and River Red Gum, and animals such as turtles and the endangered Regent Honeyeater, as well as the reduction of pest species, such as Carp, weeds, foxes and feral cats in and around the wetlands.
The restoration effort occurs across a large area comprising a rich diversity of habitats, species populations and ecological communities. Given the large area and potentially high biodiversity, it must be realised that such an effort over this large ecosystem with its diversity of eco-communities will take time – years and decades.
We hope that your visit to Winton Wetlands shows you the rewards and difficulties of ecological restoration and stimulates and strengthens your commitment to the restoration of the natural world.