Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps
Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps are two swamps lying close to the Riverina town of Leeton in New South Wales, Australia. They lie on Crown Land within the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). They were recognised as being a Wetland of International Importance through designation under the Ramsar Convention on 21 October 2002 as Ramsar Site 1224.
Fivebough Swamp () lies 4 km north-east of Leeton. It has an area of 400 ha, is a seasonal, shallow, fresh to brackish wetland in its east and north-west, with permanent water in the south-west of its basin.
Tuckerbil Swamp () lies 10 km north-west of Leeton and is a 289 ha seasonal, shallow, brackish to saline wetland.
Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps were recognised for their environmental values as early as 1920 when ornithologist Samuel Albert White reported to the MIA Commissioner that Fivebough Swamp should be proclaimed a sanctuary, and Tuckerbil Swamp a reserve. Keith Collingwood McKeown (1892-1952) entomologist, naturalist, and author, during his time in Leeton (1915-1921) recorded the first bird observations (acknowledged in S. A. White's reports) in Leeton and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, including Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps. McKeown later became assistant curator entomology (1929-1952) at the Australian Museum. In the late 1970s Fivebough Swamp, along with Tuckerbil swamp during the 1990s, became known for their birdwatching qualities. During 1994-1997 both Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps using set methodology were surveyed as part of the RAOU (Birds Australia) Murray-Darling Basin Waterbird Project. The results from the project identifying the wetlands as qualifying under five of the nine Ramsar Convention criteria as Wetlands of International Importance, based on waterbird species diversity, populations, and nationally threatened species. From September 1997 to January 1998 the swamps were managed by a sub committee of the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists under the direction of the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation after which time, a formal management committee was appointed by the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation. This management committee in 2000 became the Fivebough and Tuckerbil Wetlands Management Trust. The Trust developed, 2001-2002, in cosultation with the Leeton community and others the nomination of Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps as a Wetland of International Importance and submitted it to the NSW Sate and Commonwealth Governments May 29, 2002, together with a comprehensive plan of management for the swamps. Amongst the objectives of the plan of management are waterbird conservation, education and eco-tourism, with acknowledgment and respect for the cultural significance of the swamps to the local Wiradjuri people.
The swamps were recognised as being of international importance because of the presence, abundance and diversity of their waterbirds, including migratory waders and threatened species. Both swamps act as waterbird habitat and refuge within an agricultural landscape, gaining some of their habitat values from human uses of the site, such as livestock grazing, flood mitigation and sewage treatment.
Some of the land covered by the two swamps has been identified by BirdLife International as a 328 ha Important Bird Area because it supports significant numbers of the endangered Australasian bittern and over 1% of the world populations of glossy ibis and sharp-tailed sandpiper. The swamps also provide habitat for the Australian painted snipe and Tuckerbil serves as an important flocking area for brolgas.
- Annotated Ramsar List (2000).
- Schultz (2004).
- "Fivebouh and Tuckerbil Swamps". Annotated Ramsar List: Australia. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 2000-01-04. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "IBA: Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Schultz, Mike (2004). "Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps" (PDF). Wetlands Australia (12): 10–12.