Site is in environmental decline due to the spread of weed species and poor tree health.
Tang Tang Swamp at an elevation of 105 metres, is one of only four such areas in the Loddon River dryland catchment and is at the northern most extremity of a chain of wetlands extending from Merin Merin and Middle Swamps at Clunes. Tang Tang Swamp is listed as Nationally significant, contains many Aboriginal archaeological sites and important habitat for rare, threatened and migratory bird species. Rare and vulnerable flora species are also present. A grazing licence was held at the swamp until 1998. The area is now managed by Parks Victoria and is carefully crash grazed in autumn and spring to control weeds in the grassland areas.
Vegetation Description and Composition
Note: there are three vegetation quadrats surveyed at both wetlands monitored in the Loddon catchment. Parks Victoria assists with funding the additional vegetation surveys.
The EVCs represented at Tang Tang Swamp are Red Gum Wetland dominated by Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Red Gum), Carex spp (sedge) and Eleocharis spp. (spike rush) and Plains Grassland dominated by a mixture of native grasses including: Danthonia spp., (Wallaby Grass) and Stipa spp., (Spear grass).
Tang Tang swamp in its entirety has remained dry since spring 2001. A very small puddle near the depth gauge was recorded in winter 2002. Inundation of the vegetation quadrats during spring 1997 and 1998 caused a huge reduction in annual weed species and an increase in native aquatic species. However prolonged dry conditions has seen the re-establishment of introduced species from the Poaceae (grass) and Asteraceae Families.
Grassland quadrat at Tang Tang Swamp
Tang Tang Swamp has remained dry since spring 2001 (except for a tiny puddle recorded in winter 2002). Two macroinvertebrate surveys have been conducted at the swamp in 1997 and 2000 and found that there was a relatively large taxa richness when compared to other wetlands across the state. Several pollution and salinity sensitive families were recorded, suggesting a relatively high level of biological health.
Some general observations recorded so far were the water quality was generally very good in relation to dissolved oxygen, pH and conductivity levels, but nutrient concentrations often exceeded maximum limits for the prevention of eutrophication (nutrient enrichment). The swamp often contains only a few centimetres of water and this would be an important factor in high nutrient and turbidity readings.
Tree health is generally quite poor at the swamp