Russell lupins were introduced in the Mackenzie Basin in the 1940s from sowings or ‘garden escapees’. Although beautiful, they modify ecosystems of braided rivers. Wading birds such as the wrybill require shallow braids to feed in. The lupins stabilise river gravels, but this forces the river to form deep, rapid channels unsuitable for birds. Deep stands of lupins also shade and displace native plants, such as the woodrush. This is the lower Hooker River valley.
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