Experts share tips to turn farm dams into wildlife habitat during FrogID Week field day

Enhancing your dam to encourage and support native wildlife might seem daunting, but sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference.

At a dam enhancement field day, held on a NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust conservation agreement property in the western Sydney suburb of Mulgoa, we asked our guest experts Australian Museum Curator Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology, Dr Jodi Rowley, and Murray Wildlife ecologist Dr Matt Herring, the best ways to improve and manage natural water assets.

The good news is most Australian wildlife loves a farm dam.  

Frogs appreciate a diversity of habitats with different kinds of vegetation, and according to Dr Rowley it’s not hard to attract them to a clean body of water.

“A lot of Australian frog species love a good farm dam and it's ideal to have a mixture of aquatic vegetation, some nice shallow areas, and some vegetation along the edge,” she said.  

“If you can keep stock out of the dam to get that lovely vegetation thriving, that's great.”

During an inspection of the two dams at Wallaroo, Dr Herring said both water bodies provided essential habitat for bird and amphibious species. He emphasised that simple enhancements to dam infrastructure and surrounding landscapes can turn even the smallest dam into a thriving ecosystem, benefiting both agriculture and the environment.

“Waterbirds like the white-faced heron, some grey teal, maybe some black ducks and Australasian grebes will be attracted when there are shallow areas and water plant communities in a dam,” Dr Herring said.  

“That is what success looks like when you're managing a farm. You are trying to improve the biodiversity because those shallows and water plants aren't just great for waterbirds, that's also where all the frogs live. The dragonflies and the fish also start to move in and when you attract all those species you know you are winning.”

For more information about managing farm dams for biodiversity see our dam enhancement guide for NSW conservation agreement landholders.

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust hosts field days and webinars throughout the year to develop the skills and knowledge of our conservation agreement-holders and landholders with an interest in protecting native wildlife.  

To find out when the next event is happening keep checking our events page or follow us on Facebook.