Recovery Walk, Toolibin Lake
Toolibin Lake is an area of high conservation value being one of the last remaining inland freshwater lakes in the south west. This easy 1.6 kilometre loop walk takes about 45 minutes and you can learn about the lake from the interpretive signs. 41 species of waterbird have been recorded here including rare species like the freckled duck.
About the Trail
Toolibin Lake is a seasonal wetland, meaning it only has water at certain times of the year. When the wetland is full its woodland trees, sheoak (Casuarina obesa) and paperbark (Melaleuca strobophylla) are partially submerged in water.
The wetland has some of the richest habitat found in the region and provides a home for many kinds of plants and animals including waterbirds. An impressive 41 species of waterbirds have been recorded at the wetland, with 24 species breeding in the reserve. The threatened red-tailed phascogale also lives there.
Where is it found?
Toolibin Lake is found in the Upper Blackwood River catchment, 200km south east of Perth. It occurs in a low rainfall area of the Wheatbelt with average annual falls between 370mm and 420mm. Some years, rainfall is well below average. Unfortunately, Toolibin Lake is one of only half a dozen wetlands of its type remaining. This type of wetland used to be common throughout the Wheatbelt but most have now become saline.
The Upper Blackwood River catchment is in the Southwest Australia Ecoregion, a biodiversity hotspot. The area is high in plant and animal diversity but has also been severely degraded.
If the lakebed is flooded, you will not be able to complete this walk. However, you can still see the inflow channel, separator gate and vegetation around the lake edge. Observe how the vegetation changes along the walk. Look for lichen on trees that marks high water when the lake floods. Imagine water depths reaching over your head. Watch for old nests used by waterbirds when the lake floods.