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Keatings Lagoon is fringed by paperbarks. Photo: Tamara Vallance.
When I spent my holiday in Cooktown, Australia, where my daughter lives, I 'll never miss an opportunity to pay a visit to Keatings Lagoon, where there is a variety of plants, and animals collected for food and medicines among other things. by the Waymbuurr people—the Traditional Owners of this park— for thousands of years.
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Paperbark trees are everywhere.
"Waterlilies, sedges and algae grow in and around the lagoon which is fringed with paperbarks and shrubby wrinkle pod mangroves. Tropical woodland and small thickets of vine forest surround the wetland." You can read about this on the informationboards.
"The wetland is a refuge for thousands of waterbirds, especially in the dry season (May to October) when they congregate to feast on the rich aquatic life. Birds include the magpie goose, the black-necked stork, the strikingly-marked Radjah shelduck and the comb-crested jacana—slender agile bird with large feet that is able to walk across the surface of water lilies. Aquatic wildlife in the lagoon includes rainbow fish, snakehead gudgeon cod and freshwater shrimp. The wetland is also an important nursery area for juvenile barramundi which instinctively swim upstream into the lagoon during flood periods. To help protect these fish, fishing is not permitted within the park."