Wettest January on record at Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary

04 Feb. 2022

Our Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the iconic Kimberley region, has experienced its wettest January on record (since we began recording in 2006). A total of 417.9mm of rainfall has saturated the sanctuary grounds over the last month, with 155.1mm recorded this week alone.

Sanctuary staff Larissa, Joe, Braden, Josh, and Ruby are currently cut off from road access due to the flooding. Thankfully, access to the airstrip is still available for supplies to be flown in, and food was delivered to the crew on Friday.

Here’s a glimpse at what life looks like for our small team stranded on the sanctuary at the moment.

Waterfalls are gushing after 417.9mm of rainfall in January B Riles/AWC
Mornington waterfalls are gushing after 417.9mm of rain fell across the sanctuary last month.


Lush green landscape R Albury/AWC
The sanctuary grounds are soaking up the wet nicely, with native vegetation already flourishing.


Huge puddles across the driveway. R Albury/AWC
Floodwaters have covered the 85km driveway into the sanctuary, blocking road access in and out, leaving our small sanctuary team cut off.


Roads are puddles and walking is the only access L Potter/AWC
Thankfully, the airstrip is still accessible for food and medical supplies to be flown in.


The Junction Of The Adock And Fitzroy Martuwarra Rivers L Potter/AWC
The junction of the Adock And Fitzroy-Martuwarra Rivers in flood.


The Adcock River is well and truly up L Potter/AWC
The Adcock River well and truly above normal levels.


Annie Ck Sth Crossing Larissa Potter L Potter/AWC
Annie Creek South Crossing.


Home Creek J Guthrie/AWC
Home Creek.


Boundary Pool R Albury/AWC
Boundary Pool.


Racing creeks L Potter/AWC
The downpours have set Mornington on track for a very decent wet season, with rainfall totals so far above average at 670.4mm.


Lush green landscape Mornington L Potter/AWC
The rain is welcomed by our team of ecologists and land management officers who carry out extensive land restoration efforts and wildlife surveys year-round to restore and protect this ancient landscape.


Notaden Melanoscaphus (Northern spadefoot toad) J Porter/AWC
The local wildlife is also delighted by the rainfall. Staff have seen an increase in frogs, reptiles and snakes out enjoying the wet. Northern spadefoot toad (Notaden Melanoscaphus).


Mornington-Marion Downs Wildlife Sanctuary is a model for conservation in northern Australia, protecting nearly 6,000 square kilometres of the iconic Kimberley region. Our science-informed conservation programs at Mornington include:

  • The largest non-government fire management program in Australia.
  • One of the largest feral herbivore-free areas in Australia, within which threatened small mammal populations have increased significantly.
  • The most extensive feral cat research program ever conducted.
  • Ongoing scientific research and surveys to measure indicators of ecological health.

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