Have you ever thought of a farmer as a steward for the environment? If not, you might be surprised by the work that some of them undertake to protect the land they live and work on.
To get some insight, you can have a read of our blog posts from the EnvIrrigators campaign where we showcased some examples of the environmental benefits farmers have to the environment around them.
The wet nature of rice fields especially creates a habitat for a variety of bird species including the endangered Bunyip Bird (Bittern). A collaborative project between several organisations and Government Departments called “Bitterns in Rice” works to strengthen conservation efforts by bringing farming and wildlife protection together. You can find an abundance of information and news on their website [HERE].
One of the contributors to this project is Matthew Herring who has kindly provided us with photos to showcase that not only the Bittern is flourishing in rice fields but several other bird species as well.
While the majority of the area in the Murray-Darling Basin is either managed by farm businesses or the environment, a co-management practice is an alternative that benefits all areas. Especially in times of drought where water is scarce it’s crucial to allow the little water that’s left to be used by agriculture and environment simultaneously so that not one or the other is missing out.
All photos in this post were taken recently and if you want more inspiration, you can head over to Matt’s twitter account [HERE] where he posts updates on the birds he spots in the Riverina.