The influence of turbid waters on waterbird numbers and diversity: a comparison of lakes Yumberarra and Karatta, Currawinya National Park, south-west Queensland

Lakes Yumberarra and Karatta are two nearby intermittent lakes associated with the Paroo River, that differ in many respects. Yumberarra supports 53 species of waterbirds with numbers up to 11,500 at any one time, but Karatta has only 23 species with a maximum of 100 individuals seen at one time. While Karatta is one-third the size of Yumberarra, and has different dominant invertebrates, the main difference is its very high turbidity and lack of macrophytes. This severely restricts waterbird diversity and numbers. The high turbidity is recent and is associated with a severely eroded catchment and partial infilling of the lake.

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