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Australian bird habitats: water storage dam

Description of habitat

Large water storage dams are usually created by building a high retaining wall across a narrow valley, subsequently raising the water level of the river/creek that is being dammed. This usually leads to a waterline that is not where sedimentation has taken place for a long time, i.e. in areas where there is little or no natural vegetative fringe along the shore of the artificial lake (as opposed to the shore of a natural lake). Storage dams also tend to be a lot deeper, and have steeper banks than, other dams, such as e.g. flat-bottomed irrigation dams, leading to a different underwater habitat (e.g. without aquatic plants just under the surface for various duck species to feed on).

These factors can lead to a less diverse and in general less suitable habitat than usual not only for aquatic birds, but also non-aquatic species. Only where there are shallow bays and where fringe vegetation has been able to establish itself large water storage dams can replace natural aquatic habitats.

Bird species found in this type of habitat or plant

This is not necessarily a complete list. We display here some examples of bird species found by us in this kind of habitat or plant. Hover your cursor on thumbnails to see names of species; click on thumbnail to go to the page describing the species.

Photos

Example of a water storage dam with near-natural vegetation on its fringes: Storm King Dam near Stanthorpe, QLD

Example of a water storage dam with little natural vegetation on its fringe: Aroona Dam near Leigh Creek, SA

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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