Visit to Maffra Lake TSR, 28 April

The visit to Maffra Lake on 28 April was followed by lunch and four presentations at Buckley Crossing Hotel in Dalgety.

Over 40 landholders and community members joined representatives from South East Local Land Services (SE LLS), Kosciuszko to Coast and Friends of Grasslands (FOG) at Maffra Lake on April 28th to learn about the conservation values and observe the abundant birdlife on a perfect but dry autumn day.

Margaret Ning from FOG pointed out plants of endangered flora, Omeo Storkbill (Pelargonium sp.) known from only four sites on the Monaro and one at Omeo. Ephemeral wetlands across the Monaro such as Maffra Lake are an endangered ecological community as is Natural Temperate Grassland also found at this site. 

These is a great deal of interest in monitoring these endangered communities and species. At Maffra Lake, SE LLS employs contractors to control the spread of African Lovegrass on TSR’s, while carefully managing spraying to reduce any impact from overspraying.

After a morning walk and talk around the periphery of the lake, armed with binoculars, drones and telephoto lenses, the group set off for the Buckley Crossing Hotel in Dalgety for lunch and an afternoon of talks by each of the wetland specialists.

Leon Miners (Natural Resource Management Adviser LLS SE region) is currently working on Biodiversity on TSR’s and the Monaro Upland Wetlands project. 

Donna Hazell, a wetland ecologist, shared her extensive knowledge of the wetlands environment. Landholders and managers are learning how to turn boggy wet land areas into an asset for their farm, and for the local environment. She explained why ephemeral wetlands function as buffers, sponges and climate moderators. 

Nikki Taws (Project Manager & Bird Expert, Greening Australia) gave a detailed account of the value of Monaro wetlands for migratory birds that frequent Maffra, and other Monaro Lakes. 

David Eddy (Grassland Specialist, South East Local Land Services, Cooma) spoke of grasslands and other plant values, including endangered species, of the Monaro Lakes. 

Geoff Robertson – President Friends of Grasslands and Chair of Kosciuszko to Coast was the MC for the day, introducing Charlie Maslin, a local landholder who took drone photographs of Maffra Lake, and John Blay (historian and writer) who spoke briefly about Maffra Lake as an important site to Indigenous people.

For more information about the Monaro Wetlands Upland Project please contact Jo Powells (02) 64521455 or

(This article is based on that that appeared in the Jindabyne Post. A longer article may be found in the recent News of Friends of Grasslands)