Artificial management is needed to prolong the life of open wetland habitats. Here at Travis, some marshland habitats favoured by wetland birds can be best preserved by grazing sheep.
Left to themselves, wetlands gradually change as part of a natural succession towards drier forest vegetation. Grazing sheep helps keep out invading weeds. At the same time, keeping the numbers of sheep low encourages patches of taller protective sedges and rushes. These marshy paddocks and ephemeral shallow dabbling ponds provide ideal feeding habitats for a wide range of waterfowl.
Flocks of Canada geese are common at Travis between February and September. Canada geese often compete with stock for grazing, causing problems for farmers. But here, controlled number of geese contribute to maintaining these grazing marshes for other wetland birds. The cattle yards and loading ramp were used by the Florance family until they sold the land in 1975
Can you find this plant ?
Can you see this bird ?
Pied Stilt, Himantopus himantopus, Poaka
These graceful long legged birds are one of the most distinctive of the Travis Wetland birds.
They self introduced themselves from Australia, possibly around 1800.
Pied Stilt breed at Travis Wetland.