World Wetlands Day 2008 -- Australia


Field and Game Australia
Metropolitan Branch

Habitat Conservation Info Report No 2/2008
2008 World Wetlands Day
2 February 2008
Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People



These simple reports that I put out from time to time are aimed to inform, educate and promote partnerships and alliances with indivuals and groups from all walks of life.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 158 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1718 wetland sites, totalling 159 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Mission Statement

"The Convention's mission is the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world" (Ramsar COP8, 2002).

World Wetlands 2008

We aim to emphasise that the strong relationship between healthy functioning wetland ecosystems and human health underlines the importance of management strategies that support both the health of wetland ecosystems and the health of humans. And that the costs of poor management can be high for example, wetland-related diseases claim the lives of more than 3 million people every year and bring suffering to many more.

We've been saying it for years - inland wetlands (rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, etc.) perform a vital function in filtering and purifying freshwater, rendering it 'clean' for human consumption. And never has it been a more valuable service for human populations than today when over one billion people lack access to clean water supplies.

Wetlands can only provide us with clean water if we keep them healthy through effective management. What happens when we destroy our wetlands is obvious, we lose this source of clean water, as well as all the other ecosystem services they provide. And what happens to our clean water supply when we add too many human by-products to wetlands? You are welcome to visit,

General Report

Location: Parks Victoria, Hawkstowe Park, South Morang, Victoria, Australia

The day commenced at 6.45am loading nest boxes on the trailer and gathering tools. I dropped in to liaise with Dick Umbers, Program Manager, LaTrobe University Lifeskills who had just completed tying down the generator and mechanical post hole digger. We headed off and arrived at 8.25am at the meeting point at Hawkstowe Park carpark where members and friends started to arrive. At 8.50am while discussing the day's preparation we noticed only 15 meters away a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) scampered by. When he saw us he took off and disappeared within seconds.

Volunteers Attending Working Bee; Mario DePasquale, Tony Yiannakou, Martin Pilli, David Barr, Peter Gusatto, David Ford, Dick Umbers, Anthony Rutter, Nicholas Rutter, Leo Rutter, Lidia Rutter, Stephane Rutter, Gabrielle Rutter, Felicity Rutter, Jim Groden and John Caven.

We headed in convoy into the park at 9.15am and made our way to grasslands where we commenced to drill holes in nest box poles to enable nest boxes to be bolted on.

We commenced digging hole's with the mechanical post hole digger, poles were placed in holes and boxes bolted on.

We finished the day with 25 new nest boxes installed in undulating grasslands in amongst establishes river red gums, (Eucalyptus camaldulensis). A great way to spend some spare time with Field and Game Members and our friends.

Nest Box Research Program

Many species of Australian birds nest in tree hollows. Since European settlement much of the vegetation around wetlands has been removed. Nesting boxes are a great benefit to wildlife in areas of human habitation where tree hollows have been lost.

Until next time,

"Don't just talk about Habitat Conservation get out there and do it"

John Caven
Conservation Officer/Secretary
Metropolitan Branch, Field and Game Australia
Secretary, Game Management Council of Victoria


Mission Statement
Field and Game Australia is a voluntary organisation formed by hunters. We partner with Government and the community in the management and sustainable utilisation of Australia's wetlands for future generation by protecting game habitats through conservation. We promote responsible firearm ownership, ethical hunting and clay target shooting.

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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