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Other Sites in the City of Bunbury

Students have also been involved in examining other sites. These include Hay Park Wetlands, Balmoral Park and the Dolphin Discovery Centre.

Hay Park Wetlands

Our school wetlands represents a  small section of the Hay Park area. Before urbanization similar types of wetland vegetation would have been continuous across the whole area, with the Five Mile Brook flowing in between  the school wetlands and the remainder of Hay Park.
The far south eastern corner of Hay Park has a small shallow  pond, 5 m wide and 8 m long. It is rarely full and takes overflow from storm water. The pond  is a well known habitat of the native crustacean, the gilgie. The Hay Park wetlands is also the habitat of the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Our observations have found it to be an unsuitable release site of native fish because it dried up over the summer of 2005 and 2006.
We were interested in comparing  life around this area with amphibians and reptiles found in the school wetlands.
In November of 2006 we conducted a frog trapping exercise for one week close to the pond area. At the same time we conducted a similar frog trapping in the school wetlands as part of our monthly frog trapping. We have a CALM approved license, Regulation 17 to conduct this study. Similar species of frog were trapped in both areas. Click for results.  A bearded dragon was identified at Hay Park, these have not been trapped at the school wetlands.

 

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A wet area in the south eastern section of Hay Park

Repeating the trapping throughout 2007 would be a valuable exercise because it will show us what other animals inhabit the wetlands in this area and serve as a comparison to our wetland. We can also monitor how well the organisms are coping with increased urban pressure.

 

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Students checking the pitfall traps in Hay Park wetlands, November 2006.

 

Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park is a small pond  along College Row. It is in close walking distance to the school.
Here we have been monitoring the water quality by doing macro invertebrate sampling.
There has always been a good variety of macro invertebrates, tadpoles  and the sounds of at least 3 types of frogs.
Unfortunately there are large numbers of Gambusia present. Students regularly trap for these and even though the water dries up for a short time over summer, the population of Gambusia return. There are thick clumps of native  sedges, so maybe a few Gambusia are able to survive in a moist area amongst the plants.
It is important that the removal of the Gambusia continues because we don’t want them spreading back into the school wetlands.

 

Water Index Rating for Test Sites

Site: Balmoral Pond

Date

Water Index Rating

Star Rating Guide

September 2005

× × × Gambusia

Wetland is in reasonable condition now. Keep monitoring it

Site: Balmoral Park

Species sampled

Sensitivity Rating

September 2005

Dragonfly larvae

6

Damselfly larvae

6

Caddisfly larvae

-

Water mites

-

Beetle larvae

-

Beetle coleoptera

3

Bugs (water boatmen)

3

Daphnia/ water fleas

3

Cyclops

-

Freshwater shrimp

-

Flatworm

-

Ostracods

-

Amphipods

3

Water Snails

3

Fly Larvae

2

Midgie larvae

1

Aquatic earthworms

-

Macroinvertebrate Water condition

30 Fair

Vertebrates

Gambusia

Ducks

-


Our observations have found it to be an unsuitable release site of native fish because it dried up over the summer of 2005 and 2006.

 

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Balmoral Pond, a shallow depression with thick sedges to keep areas moist during summer.

 

Dolphin Discovery Centre, Koombana Bay

Wetland students were approached by the Dolphin Discovery Centre to design and construct a wetland pond at the entrance to the Dolphin Centre. This project occurred mainly during 2003. We provided Western Pygmy Perch for the pond.  In 2007 we replenished the pond with more Western Pygmy Perch.

 

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Adding more Western Pygmy Perch to the Dolphin Centre pond
 in  March 2007   

 

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The wetland pond at the Dolphin Centre under construction

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