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The Aurukun Wetlands area is an untouched environment of major ecological significance based around the Archer, Love, Kirk and Kendell Rivers on the Western coast of Cape York.

Covering 1.1 million hectares (or 8% of Cape York) it contains some of the best quality coastal wetland habitats in western Cape York Peninsula and supports an abundant wetland flora and fauna. It is probably the most important dry season refuge and breeding area for waterbirds on The Cape, and 25% of the area is classified as being of very high wilderness value.

Environmental audits have identified four large Magpie Geese breeding colonies, two large waterbird breeding colonies, two wader roost sites of over 5000 birds and two of between 1000 and 5000 birds.

The floodplains, lagoons and salt-pan areas dotting the upper reaches of the creeks and rivers provide a nursery for fish and a host of other animals, and supports the richest collection of vegetation communities any where on the west coast of the Peninsula. Small patches of several vegetation classes rare on the Peninsula occur in the area, including notophyll vine forest, mesophyll vine forest and Acacia crassicarpa woodland on dunes.

This unique ecosystem is host to a wide range of fish, crab and other marine species, and several previously unknown mangrove crabs species have been identified.

The Aurukun Wetlands eco-tour charter provides a unique way to explore this untouched natural world, with interpretation and insight from the local Wik and Wik Way people.

Birdwatching

Over 100 species of bird have been positively identified on Wetland Charter trips to date including endangered, threatened and endemnic species:

  • Emu
  • Orange-Footed Scrubfowl
  • Australian Brush Turkey
  • Wandering Whistling-Duck
  • Plumed Whistling-Duck
  • Magpie Goose
  • Radjah Shelduck
  • Green Pygmy Goose
  • Hardhead Duck
  • Pacific Black Duck
  • Grey Teal
  • Australasian Grebe
  • Darter
  • Little Black Cormorant
  • Pied Cormorant
  • Little Pied Cormorant
  • Lesser Frigatebird
  • Black- Necked Stork
  • Australian Pelican
  • Pacific Heron
  • White-Faced Heron
  • Pied Heron
  • Little Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Rufous Night Heron
  • Black Bittern
  • Straw-Necked Ibis
  • Australian White Ibis
  • Royal Spoonbill
  • Black Kite
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Whistling Kite
  • Collard Sparrowhawk
  • Osprey
  • White-Breasted Sea-Eagle
  • Brolga
  • Eastern Curlew
  • Whimbrel
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Comb-Crested Jacana
  • Red-Capped Plover
  • Masked Lapwing
  • Caspian Tern
  • Gull-Billed Tern
  • Crested Tern
  • Peaceful Dove
  • Bar-Shouldered Dove
  • Pied Imperial-Pigeon
  • Palm Cockatoo
  • Galah
  • Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
  • Rainbow Lorikeet
  • Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet
  • Red-Winged Parrot
  • Pale-Headed Rosella
  • Pallid Cuckoo
  • Brush Cuckoo
  • Common Koel
  • Channel-Bill Cuckoo
  • Pheasant Coucal
  • Papuan Frogmouth
  • White-Throated Neddletail
  • Azure Kingfisher
  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Blue-Winged Kookaburra
  • Forest Kingfisher
  • Rainbow Bee-Eater
  • Dollarbird
  • Red-Backed Wren
  • Striated Pardalote
  • Mangrove Gerygone
  • Fairy Gerygone
  • White-Throated Gerygone
  • Weebill
  • Little Friarbird
  • Noisy Friarbird
  • Silver-Crowned Friarbird
  • Blue-Faced Honeyeater
  • Yellow-Spotted Honeyeater
  • Graceful Honeyeater
  • White-Gaped Honeyeater
  • Yellow Honeyeater
  • Black-Chinned Honeyeater
  • White-Throated Honeyeater
  • Brown-Backed Honeyeater
  • Bar-Breasted Honeyeater
  • Rufous-Banded Honeyeater
  • Banded Honeyeater
  • Dusky Honeyeater
  • Brown Honeyeater
  • Grey-Crowned Babbler
  • Rufous Whistler
  • Little-Shrike-Thrush
  • Broad-billed Flycatcher
  • Leaden Flycatcher
  • Shining Flycatcher
  • Willie Wagtail
  • Black-Faced Cuckoo-Shrike
  • White-Bellied Cuckoo-Shrike
  • Varied Triller
  • Yellow Oriole
  • Figbird
  • White-Bellied Woodswallow
  • Pied Butcherbird
  • Magpie-Lark
  • Spangled Drongo
  • Torresian Crow
  • Great Bowerbird
  • Double-Barred Finch
  • Black-Throated Finch
  • Yellow-Bellied Sunbird
  • Mistletoebird







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