Fish in saltmarshes
Fish species living within saltmarshes vary along the coast. Juvenile and adult fish of species from commercial and recreational species - including bream, whiting, mullet, mangrove jack, barramundi, mud crab, leader and banana prawns - have been captured in saltmarsh areas. Important bait or prey species such as scat, glassfish, moses perch, gobies, greenback mullet, herring, banded trumpeter, ponyfish, silver biddy and mangrove cardinal fish also occur in both tropical and sub-tropical saltmarshes (Connolly, 1999; McDougall, Department of Natural Resources Mines and Water, pers. comm. January2005).
The presence and extent of use by these species are heavily reliant on the maintenance of tidal flows and clear passage for fish during high tides (Figure 2).
Birdlife in saltmarshes
Birdlife in saltmarshes can be diverse. The number of species that breed within a saltmarsh is relatively small but habitat and feeding grounds are provided for birds, including three listed underthe Ramsar Convention: the eastern curlew (rare), the sooty oyster catcher (rare) and the little tern (endangered) (Patterson 2000). Many migratory waders feed on invertebrates on inter-tidal mud flats and use saltmarsh areas as high tide roosts (Adam, 1995).
Other animals in saltmarshes
Saltmarsh also provides key habitats for terrestrial organisms such as insects, bats and birds (Laegdsgaard, 2005) along with wallabies and kangaroos (Figure 3).