Environmental benefits of Riverina rice continue to stack up

22 Sep 2015 2:35 PM -

An innovative bird tracking project is highlighting the environmental benefits of rice growing in the Riverina region of NSW.

Ricegrowers Association Environmental Projects Manager Neil Bull said that the return of a satellite tracked Australasian Bittern to the Riverina had generated considerable excitement among bird watchers and rice growers alike.

"The return of 'Robbie' the Bittern to Lake Wyangan near Griffith after wintering near the border of Victoria and South Australia is very exciting."

"With rice planting not too far away, it's apparent that Robbie has returned home for one reason - Riverina rice fields are his favourite habitat."

"As this innovative project develops, it's becoming more obvious that rice growing now plays a vital role in the conservation of this endangered bird species. Project leader Matt Herring suspects that about a third of the world's remaining Australasian Bitterns rely on Rice production in the Riverina for their survival."

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