The hidden biodiversity in our catchment

Hidden away in the waterways and grasses of our Moggill Creek Catchment are some fascinating birds belonging to the little-known group of Crakes and Rails.

There is very limited public awareness of crakes and rails in the waterways of South-East Queensland in general.  Activities such as grass mowing and creek dredging have significantly destroyed their habitat, without replacement. 

Achieving the optimal balance between revegetation, weed control, public amenity and sustaining native birds and plants that already exist in our waterways is not easy.

Within our own catchment, crakes and rails include the Lewins Rail, Buff-banded Rail, Pale-vented Bush-hen and Spotless Crake. The following pictures were taken locally by Ed Frazer.    

Lewins Rail
 Buff-banded Rail
 Pale-vented Bush-hen
 Spotless Crake 

A recent article published in the Land for Wildlife newsletter lists some strategies that can be applied to protect the habitat of these wonderful birds. It is a helpful resource/reference for protecting the wonderful—but, in this case, hidden—biodiversity that presently exists in our creeks, swamps and riversides. 

Although perhaps giving the impression that these birds are common, permanent habitat in our suburbs is scarce and many waterways are no longer suitable for these fascinating birds.

Brisbane City Council’s Conservation Action Statement on Crakes & Rails (2010) also provides some interesting facts and figures.