The Annotated Ramsar List: Australia
The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance
AUSTRALIA / AUSTRALIE
The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Australia on 21 December 1975. Australia presently has 65 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 8,319,886 hectares.
site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas
Apsley Marshes. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 940 ha; 41º56'S 148º12'E. Estuarine waters, coastal freshwater marsh and swamp at the mouth of the Apsley River. One of the more floristically rich areas in Tasmania, with Melaleuca dominating the surrounding woody vegetation. Human activities include livestock grazing, birdwatching, and duck hunting. An important area for up to 1,000 pairs of nesting Cygnus atratus. The marsh supports three plant species considered to be at risk in Tasmania. Ramsar site no. 255. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve. 21/10/2002; Australian Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands; 58,300 ha; 12°14'00"S 123°07'00"E; Nature Reserve. The reef itself is one of only three emergent oceanic reefs in the northeastern Indian Ocean and the only one in the region with vegetated islands. The site comprises numerous marine habitats, including seagrass meadows, intertidal sand flats, coral reef flats, and lagoons, and it supports a diverse range of species, including a significant sea snake community, a possibly genetically distinct population of Dugong, highly diverse marine invertebrate fauna, and numerous endemic species, particularly of sea snakes and molluscs. It is also a nesting and feeding site for Hawksbill, Loggerhead, and especially Green Turtles, as well as an estimated 50,000 breeding pairs of various species of seabirds. A high abundance and diversity of sea cucumbers, over-exploited near other reefs in the region, can be found, with some 45 species recorded. The site is located some 500 nautical miles west of Darwin. Traditional fishers from Indonesia are permitted partial access for shelter and fresh water, but there are otherwise few visitors because of the site's isolation. Feral introductions pose a threat, though the alien rat population is now thought to have been eradicated; poachers constitute another possible concern. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1220. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Banrock Station Wetland Complex. 21/10/02; South Australia; 1,375 ha; 34°11'S 140°20'E. A floodplain wetland that serves as a unique example of site restoration in the Murray-Darling Depression to a near-natural hydrological regime. Severely degraded after 67 years of permanent inundation, the water regimes were restored in 1992 by reinstating wetting and drying cycles that are semi-natural and intermittent. The site supports several regionally or nationally threatened species, including Regent Parrot, Southern Bell Frog, and River Snail, and provides seasonal habitat for at least eight species of migratory waterbirds listed under Australia's international agreements. It also serves as an important pathway for fish migrating around the Lock 3 fish barrier during spring floods and provides fish breeding and nursery habitats in warm shallow flood waters. The site adjoins a commercial viticultural enterprise, Banrock Station Wines of BRL Hardy Wine Company, which manages the wetland complex and promotes ecologically sustainable land use practices; its Wine and Wetland Centre also provides educational and recreational opportunities for the public. It is said that "this combination of wetland conservation and rehabilitation, with raising awareness of wetland values and functions, and private enterprise, is a good demonstration of the Ramsar wise use concept", and for this reason Banrock Station Wines received the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 2002. As rehabilitation work continues, rising saline groundwater and introduced species in the area are perceived as potential threats. Ramsar site no. 1221. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Barmah Forest. 15/12/82; Victoria; 28,515 ha; 35º55'S 145º08'E. State Park, State Forest. Bordering New South Wales, the site forms part of the largest, periodically inundated, red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) forest in Australia. Components include permanent lakes and billabongs, seasonally flooded grassland and sedge communities, and forest with understorey communities determined by flood frequency and duration. An important area for breeding ibis and other colonially nesting waterbirds (cormorants, egrets, spoonbills) in years with extensive flooding. The site supports several rare, vulnerable or endangered plants, fish, birds and mammal species. There are numerous Aboriginal sites and a visitors' centre with interpretive facilities. Human activities include stock grazing and timber harvesting. Ramsar site no. 262. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Becher Point Wetlands. 05/01/01; Western Australia; 677 ha; 32º23'S 115º44'E. Nature Reserves. An example of shrub swamps and seasonal marshes that have formed in an extensive sequence of inter-dunal depressions that have arisen from seaward advancement of the coastline over recent millennia, a type of wetland system that is rare in southwestern Australia. Examples of this type of geomorphological sequence in equally good condition and within a protected area are rare world-wide. The series of wetlands within the site exhibits a continuum of development in geomorphology, hydrology and vegetation and is considered to be a unique wetland system in Western Australia, and one of the youngest wetland systems on the Swan Coastal Plain. The sedgelands of the site are included in the national list of threatened ecological communities. Land use within the site is confined to nature conservation, and the surrounding areas are residential. Ramsar site no. 1048.Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Blue Lake. 17/03/96; New South Wales; 338 ha; 36º24'S 148º19'E. National Park. One of only four cirque lakes found on mainland Australia. Situated at ca.1,800m altitude, in a periglacial setting within the Kosciuszko National Park, it is surrounded by alpine herb fields, heaths, fens and bogs that support various native plants and animals, including rare, vulnerable and endangered species such as the Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus), the Alpine tree frog (Litoria verrauxii) and the anemone buttercup (Ranunculus anemoneus), as well as several invertebrate species restricted to the alpine zone. Human activities include conservation education, skiing, and ice climbing. Possible impacts of climate change are seen as potential threats to the site. Ramsar site no. 800. Most recent RIS information: 2011.
Bool & Hacks Lagoons. 01/11/85; South Australia; 3,200 ha; 37º08'S 140º41'E. Game Reserve, Conservation Park. Lying in an ancient inter-dune drainage system, the lagoons are artificially manipulated for flood control. An important site for waterbirds; duck and swan numbers reach 15,000 and 55,000 individuals respectively. Numbers of two species of nesting ibises exceed 50,000. The reserve is open for shooting on a limited basis, depending on seasonal factors, but the use of lead shot is prohibited. Ramsar site no. 322. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Bowling Green Bay. 22/10/93; Queensland; 35,500 ha; 19º27'S 147º15'E. National Park, Fish Habitat Reserve. A representation of the major, coastal communities of the north Australian wet-dry tropics. The coastal plain includes mangrove forest, mudflats and saltmarshes providing breeding habitat for predatory fish and waterbirds. Of 244 bird species, 103 breed here and 13 species are rare, vulnerable or endangered. The site supports several species of plants, mammals, amphibians and reptiles also rare, vulnerable or endangered. The seagrass beds provide feeding habitat for the threatened herbivores Dugong dugong and Chelonia mydas. The site is contiguous with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Bowling Green Bay Fish Habitat Reserve. Human activities include commercial and recreational harvesting of fish and shellfish and recreational pursuits. Ramsar site no. 632. Most recent RIS information: 1999.
Cobourg Peninsula. 08/05/74; Northern Territory; 220,700 ha; 11º15'S 132º15'E. National Park. A peninsula with extensive tidal flats, estuaries, mangroves, riverine wetlands and Melaleuca (paperbark)swamps, dominated by eucalyptus forest. The hydrological regime varies widely due to the seasonal nature of rainfall. A steep salinity gradient exists between the estuaries and backswamps. Several threatened animal species occur, including dugong, three species of marine turtles, and the salt water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), as well as numerous uncommon plants and 31 mangrove species. An important site for large numbers of waterbirds and migratory waders. The majority of the site is freehold Aboriginal Land used in a semi-traditional manner. Ramsar site no. 1. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Coongie Lakes. 15/06/87; South Australia; 2,178,952 ha; 27º27'S 140º00'E. Crown Land, National Park, Pastoral Lease. The site is an extensive and complex freshwater wetland system in the floodplain of Cooper Creek, one of the largest dryland rivers in Australia with a predominantly natural flow regime. Some wetlands fill only rarely, others hold water for a limited period after flooding, and others are permanent. A major flood heralds a period of flourishing plant growth and an influx of wildlife with large numbers of waterbirds, especially pelicans, cormorants, herons, ibises, spoonbills, ducks and waders that congregate to feed and breed, dispersing as waters recede. The site is increasingly important for recreation and tourism but the primary uses are cattle grazing, oil and gas production. Ramsar site no. 376. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Coral Sea Reserves (Coringa-Herald and Lihou Reefs and Cays). 21/10/02; Coral Sea Islands Territory; 1,728,920 ha; 16°52'S 149°49'E. Nature Reserves. The site is located in the Coral Sea, with its centre some 440km east of Cairns, Queensland and 300km north-east of the Great Barrier Reef. It comprises near-pristine oceanic islet and reef habitats that are representative of the Coral Sea. The undisturbed sandy habitat provided by several islets is used for nesting by the globally endangered Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), while their forest and shrubland support important breeding populations of terns, boobies, tropicbirds and other seabirds. Coral reef habitat within the site supports a distinct community of marine benthic flora and fauna, a relatively rich diversity of decapod crustacean and hydroid fauna, and significant feeding habitat for migratory shorebirds and seabirds. Marine algal communities are a particularly important feature, frequently covering a greater area than the corals. A large number of shipwrecks lend the site marine archaeological significance. In the absence of human residents, the site is used for nature conservation and scientific research, with recreational diving limited to the ten commercial tours of up to 30 passengers each permitted per year, and small numbers who arrive by private yacht. The surrounding area supports commercial fisheries, while dive and fishing-based tourism is again limited, due to the distance from centres of human population. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1222. Most recent RIS information: 2014.
Corner Inlet. 15/12/82; Victoria; 67,186 ha; 38º45'S 146º32'E. Marine and Wildlife Reserve; Shorebird Network Site. An outstanding example of the processes involved in barrier island formation, development of multiple beach ridges, lagoons and swamps, tidal creeks, deltas, and washovers. Of international importance for migratory waterbirds, the area regularly supports up to 29,000 waders, including 50% of the waders wintering in Victoria, and is important as a drought refuge. Internationally important numbers of numerous waterbird species occur. Several birds, mammals, and plants are rare or endangered. Human activities include large-scale port operations, commercial and recreational fishing, bait collection and general recreation. Ramsar site no. 261. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Currawinya Lakes. 11/03/96; Queensland; 151,300 ha; 28º45'S 144º19'E. National Park. The park consists of a mosaic of low dunefields, lakes, clay and saltpans, dissected tablelands and low hills. The area contains one of the richest and most diverse samples of wetlands in inland Australia. Vegetation includes excellent examples of mulga and gidgee associations. Numerous species are at the extremes of their natural distribution, and include uncommon plant communities. The wetlands act as a flood control mechanism and a drought refuge for birds and wildlife. The site is important for waterbirds, consistently supporting up to 100,000 waterbirds from 41 species. Human activities include conservation management, water-based recreation and research. Important aboriginal sites dating back 400 years are found here. Ramsar site no. 791. Most recent RIS information: 1995.
East Coast Cape Barren Island Lagoons (ECCBIL). 16/11/82; Tasmania; 4,473 ha; 40º22'S 148º23'E. Crown Land. The Site is a complex of shallow, saline lagoons among stretches of coastal dunes and beaches. It is still largely unaffected by direct human disturbances. It supports 13 threatened plant species, four of which are endemic to Tasmania. The site also supports nationally threatened ecological communities such as the Oyster Bay Pine (Callitris rhomboidea) forest and freshwater aquatic herbland. Locally significant numbers of many waterbird species use the area. Human activities consist of livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 256. Most recent RIS information: 2014.
Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. 29/08/01. Victoria. 261 ha. 38°04'S 145°07'E. Two separate wetlands near Melbourne, including both freshwater and brackish lakes (types P, Q, R), both with similar morphology and ecological characteristics and both under an extensive rehabilitation and management regime by Melbourne Water. They are of exceptional significance as examples of cost-effective management of wetlands in an urban setting to provide conservation benefits, manage storm water, and encourage environmental research and education. The site meets Criteria 1 on uniqueness and 2 on support for vulnerable species, and surpasses the 1% threshold for Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (Calidris acuminata). Both wetlands remained after the draining of the once extensive Carrum Carrum Swamp in the 1860s, but additional local draining and encroachments by farming and grazing have continued into this century. In recent decades active flooding has been pursued through management intervention; in the 1980s ingress of saline groundwater resulted in brackish rather than fresh water in the artificial components of the site, but pumping from nearby creeks is returning the site to a freshwater system. A management plan and birdwatching facilities are in place, and education programmes are run by a local NGO. Ramsar site no. 1096. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Eighty-mile Beach. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 125,000 ha; 19º31'S 120º40'E. A long section of coastline, extensive white sand beaches, tidal mudflats, with dunes and the most inland occurrence of mangroves in Western Australia. The site includes saltmarsh and a raised peat bog more than 7,000 years old. The area contains the most important wetland for waders in northwestern Australia, supporting up to 336,000 birds, and is especially important as a land fall for waders migrating south for the austral summer. The freshwater springs support unusual plant assemblages. Human activities include tourism and cattle grazing. Ramsar site no. 480. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve. 21/10/02; Coral Sea Islands Territory; 187,726 ha; 29°41’S 159°06’E. Nature Reserve. Located 50km apart in the northern Tasman Sea, the reefs are the southernmost coral atolls in the world. Their coral structures, which stand on isolated, oceanic sea mounts, are influenced by both tropical and temperate ocean currents. They support a diverse marine fauna, including uncommon and heretofore undescribed fishes and several endemic species of mollusc, and are the only known habitat for these species in a vast area of ocean. To date, some 322 fishes of 174 genera and 75 families have been recorded within the site. A large number of shipwrecks give the area considerable marine archaeological significance. There is no resident human population, and the limited recreational diving and fishing is not seen as a potential threat. Ramsar site no. 1223. Most recent RIS information: 2014.
Fivebough and Tuckerbil Swamps. 21/10/02; New South Wales; 689 ha; 34°30'S 146°23'E. Fivebough Swamp is a permanent but fluctuating, fresh-brackish, shallow wetland, and Tuckerbil is a seasonal, shallow, brackish-saline wetlands. Both are of international importance because of the presence, abundance and diversity of waterbirds that have been recorded there, including migratory shorebirds and threatened species. Both wetlands function as important waterbird habitat and refuge within an agricultural landscape and in fact gain some of their habitat values from the human uses of the area, such as grazing, flood mitigation, and sewage treatment. As such, the site is described as a good demonstration of Ramsar's wise use principle which also has considerable potential for waterbird-related ecotourism. The area has cultural and historical significance for local Aboriginal communities. Fivebough Swamp is considered to have great potential as an educational resource, as well as as a national and international tourist destination for nature-based recreation focusing on the rich birdlife. Careful planning is needed to ensure that the site is not affected by possible nearby urban and industrial developments. Ramsar site no. 1224. Most recent RIS information: 2002.
Forrestdale & Thomsons Lakes. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 754 ha; 32º09'S 115º52'E. Nature Reserves. Two fresh to brackish, seasonal lakes set in a zone of extensive urban and agricultural development. The lakes are fringed by emergent vegetation giving way to trees tolerant of water-logged conditions (e.g., Melaleuca), with higher ground supporting woodland dominated by Eucalyptus and Banksia. More than 10,000 waterbirds are regularly supported. The site holds a diversity of fauna, including the uncommon skink Lerista lineata. The reserve is used principally for birdwatching and walking. Ramsar site no. 481. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Ginini Flats Subalpine Bog Complex. 11/03/96; Australian Capital Territory; 125 ha; 35º31'S 148º46'E. National Park. A complex of subalpine, spring-fed, Sphagnum bogs, associated wet heath and wet grassland with impeded drainage, ephemeral pools and permanent streams set in a series of interconnected flats. The area includes some of the largest, deepest and best preserved bogs found in mainland southeastern Australia. The site supports a distinctive fauna that includes many unusual, rare or endemic invertebrates and vertebrates, with many species at the northern limit of their range. The wetland is particularly important for the conservation of the spectacular corroboree frog, a rare, endemic species found only at high altitudes with a limited distribution. Human activities are principally recreational, but have included livestock grazing and peat extraction in the past. Ramsar site no. 793. Most recent RIS information: 1995.
Gippsland Lakes. 15/12/82; Victoria; 60,015 ha; 38º00'S 147º36'E. State Wildlife Reserves, Crown Land Reserves, Coastal Park, National Park. A group of coastal lagoons and marshes fed by river systems and subject to regular flooding. The site is separated from the sea by dunes and fringed by beach forming the largest navigable inland waterway in Australia. The aquatic vegetation is highly variable, reflecting seasonal factors, light penetration, salinity and nutrient availability. The site is an important drought refuge for waterbirds, regularly holding up to 50,000 individuals. Several birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and invertebrates supported are rare, vulnerable or endangered in Victoria. The site supports commercial and recreational fisheries, recreation, grazing, residential development and water extraction, while the surrounding area has been developed for agricultural, residential and tourism purposes. Ramsar site no. 269. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Great Sandy Strait (including Great Sandy Strait, Tin Can Bay, and Tin Can Inlet). 14/06/99; Queensland; 93,160 ha; 25º28'S 152º54'E. Adjoins the Fraser Island World Heritage site. A sand passage estuary between the mainland and sandy Fraser Island. The largest area of tidal swamps within the Southeast Queensland bioregion of Australia, consisting of intertidal sand and mud flats, extended seagrass beds, mangrove forests, saltflats, and saltmarshes, and often contiguous with freshwater Melaleuca wetlands and coastal wallum swamps. An exceptionally important feeding ground for migratory shorebirds and important for a wide range of other waterbirds and seabirds, marine fish, crustaceans, oysters, dugong, sea turtles, and dolphins. Evidence of Aboriginal presence dates back 5500 years, and indigenous fishing is still a major activity. Ramsar site no. 992. Most recent RIS information: 1999.
Gunbower Forest. 15/12/82; Victoria; 19,931 ha; 35º49'S 144º19'E. State Forest, Wildlife Sanctuary. The second largest periodically-inundated red gum forest in Victoria. Plant distribution is a result of elevation differences that determine frequency and duration of flooding. During flood periods, the forest becomes a major breeding area for waterbirds, including the egrets, Egretta alba, E. intermedia (the only known breeding site in Victoria), E. garzetta and Nycticorax caledonicus. Various species of reptiles and plants are scarce, rare or endangered and are therefore of conservation importance.Human activities include recreational fishing, camping, hunting, silviculture and grazing. An area of 230ha has been set aside for conservation education purposes. Ramsar site no. 263. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Gwydir Wetlands: Gingham and Lower Gwydir (Big Leather) Watercourses. 14/06/99; New South Wales; 823 ha; 29º18'S 149º14'E. Private landholdings. The Gwydir wetland is one of the largest inland wetlands in New South Wales and home to half a million nesting and breeding waterbirds. The designated area is entirely privately-owned and forms part of a much larger wetland system in the Murray-Darling drainage system. Large parts of the surrounding land are used for cotton growing and cattle grazing, with the latter continuing, and carefully regulated, as part of the wise use of the site. A Memorandum of Understanding on the designation and future management of the site was signed on World Wetlands Day 1999 by the four landowning families and officials of the State and Commonwealth governments, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the National Parks Association. Ramsar site no. 993. Most recent RIS information: 1999.
Hattah-Kulkyne Lakes. 15/12/82; Victoria; 955 ha; 34º41'S 142º26'E. Biosphere Reserve; National Park. A lake system, set in an extensive wetland with a complex flood hydrology operating on a two to seven year cycle. When flooded, the lakes become important breeding areas for herons, egrets, cormorants and spoonbills. The area supports several bird, mammal, reptile, fish and plant species that are endangered, rare or vulnerable in the State of Victoria. Murray River water is used for irrigation purposes. Ramsar site no. 264. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Hosnies Spring. 11/12/90; Christmas Island Territory. 202 ha; 10º28'S 105º41'E. National Park. An area of permanent, shallow freshwater wetland, fed by a natural spring system located approximately 30 metres above sea level and 120 metres inland of the seaward cliff. The wetland is covered by a stand of mangroves (Bruguiera gymnorhiza) estimated to be 120,000 years old. The site includes surrounding terrestrial areas with rainforest grading to coastal scrub, and includes an area of shoreline and coral reef. It is significant for the age, location and size of the mangroves as well as for supporting large numbers of crabs including: red crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis), robber crabs (Birgus latro) and blue crabs (Discoplax hirtipes). Visitor access of small interest groups such as bird watchers or scientific teams is managed by Parks Australia to conserve the ecological character of the site. The greatest threat within the site comes from the formation of multi-queen "super colonies" of the invasive yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), thought to have been introduced accidently to Christmas Island between 1915 and 1934. The site's area was extended in 2010 from 0.33 to 202 ha to conform to the National Park boundaries. Ramsar site no. 512. Most recent RIS information: 2011.
Hunter Estuary Wetlands. 21/02/84; New South Wales; 2,969 ha; 32°51'S 151°46'E; Nature Reserve. The Site comprises the Kooragang Nature Reserve (designated as a Ramsar Site in 1984) and the Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia (added in 2002). The two are connected by a wildlife corridor consisting of Ironbark Creek, the Hunter River, and Ash Island. The Kooragang lies within the estuarine section of the Hunter River; habitats include mangrove forest, saltmarsh, saline pastures, Casuarina forest, brackish swamps, standing open water, sandflats, beaches and rock-retaining walls and ponds. The Site is of great importance for migratory waterbirds such as the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) and Eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis). It also supports endangered bird species such as the Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus). The Nature Reserve is used primarily for ornithological, wetlands ecology and fisheries research together with bird watching, while surrounding areas are mainly for industrial, residential and transport purposes, water supply infrastructure and grazing. The site has historical significance for Aboriginal communities. Ramsar Site no. 287. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Interlaken Lakeside Reserve. 16/11/82;Tasmania; 520 ha; 42º09'S 147º10'E. Crown Reserve. An area of Triglochin procera - Baumea arthrophylla marsh. The site is important to at least five species of ducks as a feeding, resting and breeding area, and in dry years, as a drought refuge. The area is locally important for the black swan. One of three known localities in Tasmania for the sedge, Scirpus mantivagus, and for Amphibromus neesii. Human activities include livestock grazing, sport fishing, and duck shooting. Visitor numbers increased five-fold from 1985 to 1990. Ramsar site no. 259. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Jocks Lagoon. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 19 ha; 41°21’S 148°18’E. This small freshwater lagoon in a depression behind coastal dunes provides freshwater in an otherwise-dry coastal area. The Site supports rare and scientifically valuable species. It is a habitat for five nationally threatened plant species, for example the jointed twigsedge Baumea articulate, zigzag bogsedge Schoenus brevifolius and erect marshflower Villarsia exaltata. The Site also supports several threatened native vegetation communities, such as the swamp paperbark Melaleuca ericifolia. Human activities include livestock grazing, land clearance, recreation and off-road vehicle use. Ramsar site no. 258. Most recent RIS information: 2014.
Kakadu National Park. 12/06/80; Northern Territory; 1,979,766 ha; 13°01'S 132°26'E. National Park, World Heritage natural & cultural Site. An iconic destination within Australia, renowned for its exceptional beauty and unique biodiversity, with a variety of landforms, habitats and wildlife. It encompasses expansive coastal and inland ecosystems such as terrestrial wetlands and woodlands, floodplain ecosystems, swamp forest, rivers, springs, and billabongs, as well as coastal/marine ecosystems with intertidal mudflats, saltmarsh, mangroves and seagrass. Wetland habitats are relatively undisturbed and support a broad range of natural values including threatened and endemic species and a remarkable abundance of waterbirds. The site contains a richness of archaeological sites and items, and an ongoing 'living culture' is maintained by the traditional owners of Kakadu National Park today who display a fundamental connection with the wetlands of the Ramsar Site. First listed in parts in 1980 and 1989, on 28 April 2010 these two entities were combined, with an additional 600,000 hectares, to create a single Ramsar Site conforming to the boundaries of the National Park. Ramsar Site no. 204. Most recent RIS information: 2011.
Kerang Wetlands. 15/12/82; Victoria; 9,419 ha. 35º40'S 143º56'E. State Wildlife Reserves, Water Supply Reserves, Salinity Disposal Reserves. A system of 22 lakes and swamps. In the lower river reaches, the wetlands have variations in permanence, depth, salinity and aquatic vegetation. The site includes freshwater lakes and marshes, and brackish or saline lakes and marshes. The most diverse vegetation is exhibited in the seasonal, freshwater marshes. The area is of great importance to waterbirds, supporting large numbers of endemic and migratory species, and serves as a drought refuge. The area supports rare or vulnerable plant species. Human activities include recreation and regulated duck hunting. The lake system provides an important source of irrigation water. Ramsar site no. 265. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Lake Albacutya. 15/12/82; Victoria; 5,731 ha; 35º46'S 141º58'E. Regional Park. The lake, subject to a unique hydrologic cycle, receives water in exceptionally wet years (about every 20 years) but takes up to four years to dry out. It has been dry since 1983. Eucalyptus woodlands fringe the lake, and grasses cover the dry bed. In flood years over 20,000 waterbirds gather, including Stictonetta naevosa. The area supports several bird and plant species that are endangered, rare or vulnerable. When flooded, the lake is used for recreational boating, fishing and shooting and supports an important commercial fishery. Inflow is diverted to meet agricultural and domestic needs. A culturally significant area, the lake appears in Aboriginal mythology. Ramsar site no. 270. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Lake Gore. 05/01/01; Western Australia; 4,017 ha; 33º47'S 121º29'E. Nature Reserves. A near-permanent saline lake and part of a downstream system of inter-connected lakes and swamps of various sizes which are intermittently inundated. Lake Gore itself supports the largest known populations of Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis (up to one third of the global population) is important for moulting by thousands of Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides and for drought refuge by thousands of ducks and shorebirds, and it supports thousands of Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus (up to 10% of the global population). Uses consist of nature conservation and low-level recreational pursuits. Salinity and water quality are monitored regularly by high school students from Esperance as part of the "Ribbons of Blue" programme. Ramsar site no. 1049. Most recent RIS information: 2000.
Lake Pinaroo (Fort Grey Basin). 17/03/96; New South Wales; 719 ha; 29º06'S 141º13'E. National Park. A large terminal basin consisting of an open lake with muddy margins, when full, and very little associated vegetation. It is an episodic lake which is dry most of the time with rare and irregular wet phases, but its large size and its capacity to retain water for extended periods when filled provides valuable habitat in the region, particularly for endangered bird species, and it supports a substantial number of waterbirds when full. Numerous species of small mammals and reptiles also occur. Human activities include tourism and nature conservation. There is an exceptionally high density and variety of aboriginal sites including hearths, middens, ceremonial sites, quarries and abundant stone artifacts, suggesting that a large aboriginal population once occupied the area. Potentially reduced rainfall and higher temperatures associated with climate change are feared as general threats in future but not yet well understood for local conditions. Ramsar site no. 799. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Lake Warden system. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 2,300 ha; 33º48'S 121º56'E. Nature Reserve. A system of lakes and marshes of variable salinity set behind coastal dunes. The water regime varies from ephemeral to almost permanent with springs giving rise to shallow, brackish wetlands. An important area for waterbirds: swans, ducks and waders occur in large numbers. Plant communities consist of Samphire marsh with Halosarcia and Sarcocornia vegetation, with stabilized sand dunes supporting woodland. The site is popular for recreational activities -- water skiing, sailing, and horse riding. Ramsar site no. 485. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Lakes Argyle & Kununurra. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 150,000 ha; 16º19'S 128º44'E. A large system of human-made freshwater reservoirs and associated permanent wetlands formed by damming the Ord River. Vegetation consists of aquatic plants fringed by grassland, typha and savannah woodland. The lakes are an important dry season refuge for waterbirds, with numbers regularly exceeding 20,000 individuals. The area is notable for numerous endemic plants and a rich fauna. The site is increasingly important for recreation and tourism, with controlled diamond exploration and mining constituting the principal human activities. Ramsar site no. 478. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Lavinia Nature Reserve. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 7,020 ha; 39º45'S 144º05'E. Nature Reserve. A small estuary, associated mudflats and saltmarsh at the river's mouth. One of the few remaining, largely unaltered natural areas. The site is of critical importance as a feeding area for the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster, world population 100-200 birds). The site provides high quality feeding and roosting habitat, used by the parrots during migrations between the mainland and Tasmania. Ramsar site no. 253. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve. 17/03/96; New South Wales; 258 ha; 30°05'S 151°46'E. Nature Reserve, Crown Land Wildlife Management Area. One of the few high altitude, freshwater lagoons in New South Wales. An unusual system, as lagoons are not usually found in fluvial landscapes at the extreme upper limit of streams. The site is rare due to its near-natural condition and is particularly important as a drought refuge for waterbirds. It also regularly supports significant numbers of various species of waterbirds such as the blue-billed duck (Oxyura australis) and the Eurasian coot (Fulica atra). Several birds, plants and amphibians found at the site are rare, threatened or endemic such as the globally endangered Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) which breeds at the site and the critically endangered Yellow-spotted bell frog (Litoria castanea). Vegetation includes submerged and emergent aquatic plants, sedge-meadows, and terrestrial communities. Archaeological surveys show Aboriginal activity dating back to at least 5,000 years before the present. Human activities consist of livestock grazing, some cropping, nature conservation with limited recreational use and scientific research. Public access is restricted to researchers, birdwatchers, and educational institutions. Ramsar site no. 798. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Little Waterhouse Lake. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 56 ha; 40º52'30"S 147º36'40"E. Crown Land, Recreation Area. A coastal freshwater lagoon situated in the Waterhouse Conservation Area (northeast coast of Tasmania), receiving its water from local catchment runoff and from a small drain (formerly a creek) known as Tobacco Creek. It is an excellent example of a small freshwater lake impounded behind coastal dunes. Its high floral diversity, high biological productivity, and near-natural condition contribute to it being considered a representative example of these types of wetlands in the biogeographic context. The Lake has well developed macrophyte flora and contains over 40 species of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, and the site supports globally threatened species such as the endangered Green and Gold Frog (Litoria raniformis). It is also the site of early European settlement in the district and is used for recreational purposes including nature observation, fishing, boating, recreational vehicle use and hunting, research and monitoring. The surrounding area contains important Aboriginal sites and is used for recreational camping and livestock grazing, with water use for agricultural purposes. Ramsar Site no. 260. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Logan Lagoon. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 2,320 ha; 40º10'S 148º17'E. Conservation Area; Shorebird Network Site. One of three estuarine lagoon systems along the coast of an island. Separated from the sea by a sand bar and filled by winter rains. Fringing vegetation includes reedbeds, with dry grassland with scattered trees in the surrounding area. A winter nesting site for Cygnus atratus, with large numbers of waders of many species using the exposed sand and mud flats during the summer. The site is closed to hunting and therefore important as a refuge for birds. An example of a relatively undisturbed wetland, the area is valuable for nature conservation education. Ramsar site no. 252. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Lower Ringarooma River. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 4,160 ha. 40º54'S 147º56'E. Crown Land. A sandy, river floodplain dominated by scrub and tussock grassland vegetation and surrounded by woodland. The site provides important and secure feeding and nesting grounds for many species of waterbirds. Several plants rare in Tasmania occur on the floodplain. The area is used for grazing and there is some regulated hunting of waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 257. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Macquarie Marshes. 01/08/86; New South Wales; 19,850 ha; 30°51'S 147°39'E. Nature Reserve. Part of the larger Macquarie Marshes wetland, an area exceeding 250,000ha during major flooding and containing the largest area of reedbeds in southeastern Australia, and one of the largest red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) woodlands. The marshes are the most biologically diverse wetland systems in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and are important for waterbirds, including large numbers of herons, ducks, egrets, ibises, spoonbills, terns and migratory waders. The site also supports globally threatened species such as the Critically Endangered Murray Cod (Maccullochella peeli peeli) and the Endangered Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) and Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis). The main human uses of the site are for agricultural purposes, especially grazing beef cattle through sustainable grazing management practices. Ramsar site no. 337. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Moreton Bay. 22/10/93; Queensland; 113,314 ha; 27º20'S 153º10'E. National Park, Environmental Park, Fauna Sanctuary, Fish Habitat Reserve, Marine Park; Shorebird Network Site. Near the southern limit of reef-building corals, an estuarine basin, semi-enclosed by two of the world's largest sand islands. As one of three extensive intertidal areas of seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh on the eastern coast, it supports an extremely high species diversity. Supported in significant numbers, several reptiles, amphibians, and mammals are rare, vulnerable or endangered. Over 50,000 migratory waterbirds are present during wintering and staging. Numerous canal estates have access to the bay, which supports an important fishery. The site is popular for water-based recreation and tourism. Annually, up to one million tonnes of sub-fossil coral and 150,000m3 of sand are extracted. Adjacent to the site of Ramsar COP6 in Brisbane, 1996. Ramsar site no. 631. Most recent RIS information: 1999.
Moulting Lagoon. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 4,507 ha; 42°02'00"S 148°10'00"E. Crown Land, Game Reserve. A large estuary at the mouths of the Swan and Apsley Rivers adjacent to, and contiguous with, the Apsley Marshes Ramsar Site. The lagoon, plus several sections of coastal reserve surrounding it, and an additional area of dry land 1 km north, comprise the Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve. The site is an excellent example of a large estuary formed behind a bayhead sandpit and is one of only two such areas in the Tasmanian Drainage Division. The estuary is recognized as having high conservation significance for Tasmania, as it provides an important resting and breeding ground and an important drought refuge for about one hundred resident and migratory birds species such as the Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) and the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus). The site is used for recreational shooting, fishing and boating, aquaculture and off-road driving. The surrounding area is used for grazing, residential development, mining, aquaculture and recreation. Both the site and the surrounding area have Aboriginal and European cultural significance. Ramsar site no. 251. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Muir-Byenup System. 05/01/01; Western Australia; 10,631 ha; 34º29'S 116º43'E. Nature Reserve. A suite of partly inter-connected lakes and swamps of varied size, salinity (saline to fresh), permanence (permanent to seasonal) and substrate (peat and inorganic), in an internally-draining catchment. The open lakes are used for moulting by thousands of Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides and for drought refuge by tens of thousands of other ducks, while the sedge/shrub-dominated swamps support an important population of Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus and three types of nationally vulnerable orchids. Vegetation communities of the site's wet flats are among the few remaining in non-coastal parts of southwestern Australia and the site has some of the largest natural sedgelands in Western Australia. The site is used for nature conservation, but agriculture, notably grazing of domestic sheep and cattle and tree plantations, occurs in adjoining lands. Illegally released feral pigs cause considerable damage to vegetation and soil. Ramsar site no. 1050. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Myall Lakes. 14/06/99; New South Wales; 44,612 ha; 32º30'S 152º17'E. National Park. Lies within the Myall Lakes National Park and includes the Corrie Island and Little Broughton Island Nature Reserves. One of the few coastal brackish lake systems in New South Wales which has not been greatly modified by human activities. The area is renowned for its floristic diversity (over 600 species of plants) and complex variety of habitats, which is largely due to differences in substrate. It is home to a number of threatened species, such as the endangered Australasian bittern (Botaurus poicloptilus) and the endangered Green thighed frog (Litoria brevipalmata), as well as the vulnerable Freycinet’s forg (Litoria freycineti) and Stuttering frog (Mixophyes balbus). The Dark Point dune sheet, comprising sand dunes up to 50 metres high and covering about 250 hectares of the Ramsar Site, is estimated to have moved between 38 and 54 metres since 1999 through a natural process. Ramsar site no. 994. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Narran Lake Nature Reserve. 14/06/99;New South Wales; 5,531 ha; 29º43'S 147º26'E. Covers part of a large 'terminal' wetland of the Narran River in New South Wales at the end of the Condamine River system which flows south from Queensland. Very high traditional, as well as contemporary, social and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people. Internationally significant for waterbird breeding and as habitat for species, including a number that are listed under the Japan-Australia and China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreements. Ramsar site no. 995. Most recent RIS information: 1999.
NSW Central Murray Forests. 20/05/03; New South Wales; 83,992 ha; 35°46'00"S 144°39'00"E. Composed of discrete but interrelated forest units (Millewa, Werai, and Koondrook) that form one of the largest complexes of tree-dominated floodplain wetlands in southern Australia. The site contains rare wetland types within the Riverina bioregion, particularly floodplain lake and floodplain meadows and reed swamps. Linked through an unbroken riparian corridor along the Murray and Edward Rivers, the forests are in good ecological condition and contribute significantly to the conservation of globally and nationally threatened species - the site provides a habitat for the endangered Regent Honeyeater (Xanthomyza Phrygia), Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus), Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor), Murray Hardyhead (Craterocephalus fluviatilis), and Trout Cod (Maccullochella macquariensis). Migratory birds found at the site include the Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), Caspian Tern (Hydropogne caspia), and White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). The site contains significant social, cultural and economic resources. It has been managed under multiple use principles including forestry for almost 150 years, making it one of the longest continuously managed natural resource areas in Australia. Currently the site is used for timber harvesting, apiculture, fishing, bird watching and scientific study. Ramsar Site no. 1291. Most recent RIS information: 2013
Ord River floodplain. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 141,453 ha; 15º15'S 128º22'E. Nature Reserves. A large system of river, seasonal creek, tidal mudflat and floodplain wetlands that supports extensive stands of mangroves important for salt-water crocodiles and a large number and diversity of waterbirds. When rainfall is high, lagoons and seasonal wetlands constitute major breeding areas for waterbirds. Mangrove stands are notable in terms of species diversity and structural complexity. The site is a regular tourist destination. Exploration for alluvial diamonds continues subject to environmental constraints. Surrounding land is used for cattle grazing. Site's area significantly extended on 05/01/01. Ramsar site no. 477. Most recent RIS information: 2000.
Paroo River Wetlands. 13/09/07; New South Wales; 138,304 ha; 30°20'S 143°51'E. National Park. The last remaining free-flowing river in the Murray-Darling Basin, with wetland types including large overflow lakes, tree-lined creeks and waterholes, lignum and canegrass swamps, and artesian mound spring. The site is one of the most important wetland systems for waterbirds in eastern Australia and supports a number of threatened plant and animal species as well as significant native fish communities. The area is highly significant for local Aboriginal people in terms of archaeological, traditional and contemporary social values. Ramsar site no. 1716. Most recent RIS information: 2007.
Peel-Yalgorup system. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 26,530 ha; 32º49'S 115º42'E. National Park. A large system of shallow estuary and saline, brackish and freshwater lakes that is used by tens of thousands of waterbirds, including large numbers of migrant shorebirds from the northern hemisphere. Vegetation consists of fringing, samphire flats giving way to rushes, sedges and trees tolerant of water logging (Melaleuca, Casuarina), with open woodland (Agonis, Eucalyptus) on higher ground. The site is the most important area for waterbirds and waders in Southwest Australia, regularly supporting over 20,000 individuals. The system supports a regionally important estuarine fishery. There are unique formations of calcium carbonate, and the site is one of only two in southwestern Australia and one of very few in the world where living thrombolites (a type of microbialite, superfically resembling stromatolites) occur in hypersaline water. The area is used extensively for recreational purposes. Site's area significantly extended on 05/01/01. Ramsar site no. 482. Most recent RIS information: 2000.
Piccaninnie Ponds Karst Wetlands. 21/12/12; South Australia; 862 ha; 38º03'S 140º56'E. Conservation Park. The site is a unique combination of karst and coastal fen wetlands in good condition; it includes a series of rising spring karst systems as well as several substantial groundwater beach springs along the foreshore of the beach.The site is an exceptional example of karst spring wetlands at the bioregional scale, with the largest and deepest of the springs reaching a depth of more than 110 metres. The karst springs support unique macrophyte and algal associations, with macrophyte growth extending to 15 metres. In addition, a number of different wetland types surround the karst wetlands, receiving surface runoff from the overflow of groundwater discharge. A large area of peat fens is also present. The geomorphic and hydrological features of the site produce a complex and biologically diverse ecosystem which supports considerable biodiversity, including a significant number of species of conservation value such as the globally threatened Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus and Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster. Human activities consist of recreation, tourism, snorkeling, camping and research. The surrounding areas are used for livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 2136. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Pittwater-Orielton Lagoon. 16/11/82; Tasmania; 3,175 ha; 42º47'S 147º30'E. A tidal salt water lagoon with a narrow entrance to the sea, the site includes the estuaries of four rivers. Most of the wetland is fringed by saltmarsh vegetation and rocky shores. The site is of international importance as a summer feeding area for migratory shorebirds, and supports large numbers of the endemic sea-star (Patiriella vivipara) and several scarce or endangered plant species. Ramsar site no. 254. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Port Phillip Bay & Bellarine Peninsula. 15/12/82; Victoria; 22,897 ha; 38º04'S 144º36'E. State Wildlife Reserves, Marine Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuary, Metropolitan Park. Six discrete areas of various wetland types, ranging from shallow, marine waters and estuaries to freshwater lakes, seasonal swamps, intertidal mudflats, and seagrass beds. Of outstanding importance to waterbirds, the bay supports more than 1% of the Australian population of 14 waterbird species, and 5% of the Victorian population of another 12 bird species. Tens of thousands of ibises (Threskiornis molucca and arphibis spinicollis) roost here. Up to 65,000 migratory waders occur in summer, making it the sixth most important site for waders in Australia. The area supports rare bird species, notably the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster). Located near a high density urban area of over three million people, the Bay is used intensively for recreation. Other activities include livestock grazing, aquaculture, and nearby salt production. Ramsar site no. 266. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Pulu Keeling National Park. 17/03/96; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; 2,603 ha; 11º49'S 096º49'E. National Park. A coral atoll comprising ca.213 ha of land, including the enclosed central lagoon, and 2390 ha hectares of surrounding coral reef and sea. When first listed, the centre of the atoll contained a single tidal lagoon with a narrow connection to the Indian Ocean, but natural processes have since closed this connection. The site is significant for the number of seabirds it supports, including large breeding colonies of red-footed booby (Sula sula) and lesser frigatebirds (Fregata ariel). An endemic species of buff-banded rail (Gallirallus philippensis andrewsi) is a resident within the Ramsar Site. Fish and marine invertebrate fauna are abundant and, while there are few endemic species present, the fish fauna is considered unique due to the mixing of Indian and Pacific Ocean species which are at the edge of their distributions. The Ramsar Site was extended to conform to the National Park boundaries in 2011. Ramsar site no. 797. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Riverland. 23/09/87; South Australia; 30,640 ha; 34º02'S 140º50'E; Biosphere Reserve. The site is located within the South Australian section of the Murray-Darling Basin Catchment, along the River Murray. It consists of various wetland types including creeks, channels, anabranches, lagoons, billabongs, floodplains, swamps and lakes, and is one of the major waterbird breeding areas in south-eastern Australia. The site supports extensive stands of River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) forests, which support a rich flora and fauna and attract many tourists. It also supports internationally endangered species such as the Australian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus), the Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis) and the critically endangered Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii). While the dominant land use within the site is biodiversity conservation, other uses include grazing and limited commercial fishing. The site supports a significant tourism industry (nature-based boat tours, bush camping, canoeing and water-skiing), while surrounding areas support agriculture, horticulture, dryland farming and a commercial pastoral operation. Ramsar site no. 377. Most recent RIS information: 2007.
Roebuck Bay. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 55,000 ha; 18º07'S 122º16'E. A tropical, marine embayment of extensive intertidal flats, sand beaches, extensive mudflats supporting various species of mangroves, and grasslands above high tide mark. Northwestern Australia is the continent's most important region for waders, regularly supporting up to half a million birds. The bay regularly supports over 100,000 other waterbirds, with numbers being highest in the austral spring when migrant species breeding in the Palearctic stop to feed during migration. There is light recreational usage and a bird observatory. Ramsar site no. 479. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Shoalwater and Corio Bays. 11/03/96; Queensland; 239,100 ha; 22º40'S 150º17'E. State Marine Park, National Estate, Fish Habitat Area. Bounded by coastline, the area's terrestrial, estuarine and marine environments represent the largest area in east Queensland containing representative ecosystems in relatively undisturbed habitats for significant floral and faunal assemblages and includes populations of rare and threatened species. The area represents a climatic overlap zone with an unusual mix of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate species. An important feeding area with high-tide roost sites for a large number and diversity of shore and migratory birds. Human activities include military activities, use by Aboriginal people, tourism, commercial and recreational fishing. Ramsar site no. 792. Most recent RIS information: 1995.
The Coorong, and Lakes Alexandrina & Albert Wetland. 01/11/85; South Australia; 142,530 ha; 35°56’S 139°18’E. National Park, Game Reserves and Crown Land; Shorebird Network Site. The site is located at the mouth of the River Murray, south east of the city of Adelaide. It consists of two lakes forming a wetland system at the river’s mouth and a long, shallow brackish-to-hypersaline lagoon which they feed into, separated from the ocean by a narrow sand dune peninsula. The lakes contain water of varying salinity and include a unique mosaic of 23 wetland types including intertidal mud, sand and salt flats, coastal brackish/saline lagoons and permanent freshwater lakes. The site is of international importance for migratory waterbirds and supports the greatest wealth of waterbird species in the Murray-Darling Basin. It hosts important nesting colonies of cormorants, plovers, ibises and terns, and also supports globally endangered species such as the Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster) and the Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii). The site is popular for recreation activities include camping, boating, regulated duck hunting, and supports a range of commercial activities related to tourism, irrigated agriculture, and commercial fishing. The area is central to aboriginal culture and spiritual beliefs, and it is noted for its extensive sites of historic and geological importance. Ramsar site no. 321. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
The Dales. 21/10/02; Christmas Island Territory; 580 ha; 10°29'S 105°34'E. National Park. A near-pristine system of seven watercourses within the Christmas Island National Park, including permanent and intermittent streams and most of the surface water on the island. It is the first Australian Ramsar Site to include surface and subterranean karst features. The site's numerous wetland types support important populations of endemic and/or threatened species including Christmas Island Hawk-owl Ninox natalis and Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus natalis, Abbott's Booby Papasula abbotti, the gecko Lepidodactylus listeri, and the Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops exocoeti. The site plays host to the annual mass migration and spawning of red crabs (Gecarcoiodea natalis) and provides critical habitat for the blue crab (Discoplax hirtipes). In total, 20 species of land crabs are found within the site, all migrating to the ocean to spawn. The Dales are a popular sightseeing destination for local people and tourists and one of them has religious significance for Buddhist inhabitants of Chinese background. The principal threat to the site comes from introduced species, particularly the Yellow Crazy Ant Anoplolepis gracilipes, which was accidentally introduced in the first half of the 20th century and whose "supercolonies" proliferated markedly in the mid- to late 1990s. Ramsar site no. 1225. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Toolibin Lake. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 497 ha; 32°55’S 117°36’E. Nature Reserve. A lake of fresh-to-brackish water fed by surface runoff, Toolibin Lake dries out occasionally and may receive no inflow over several years. It is the only remaining example in Southwest Australia of a wetland with extensive living thickets of the swamp oak Casuarina obesa - one of the principal natural characteristics of wetlands there prior to agricultural development. The lake supports numerous species of waterbirds such as the freckled duck Stictonetta naevosa and the Nankeen night heron Nicticorax caledonicus. Vegetation includes submerged aquatic plants and sedges around the lake, and eucalyptus and acacia woodland on higher ground. The site also supports Acorn Banksia Banksia prionotes and Rock she-oak Allocasuarina huegeliana, species which are not well represented in the region. Ramsar site no. 483. Most recent RIS information: 2014.
Towra Point. 21/02/84; New South Wales; 604 ha; 34°00'S 151°10'E. Nature Reserve, Aquatic Reserve. A system of seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh communities, marine subtidal aquatic beds as well as terrestrial vegetation communities. These include she-oak (Allocasuarina) forest, littoral rainforest, littoral strandline and and a complex mosaic of dune sclerophyll scrub/forest. The site contains approximately half of the mangrove communities and over half of the remaining saltmarsh communities in the Sydney region. As one of the few remaining areas of estuarine wetlands in that region, it is important for the survival of many bird species such as the the vulnerable Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), the Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta), Mangrove Gerygone (Gerygone levigaster), and the Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris). Human activities consist of recreation and non-commercial fishing, with surrounding areas developed for industrial, residential and recreational use. Ramsar site no. 286. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Vasse-Wonnerup system. 07/06/90; Western Australia; 1,115 ha; 33º37'S 115º25'E. Nature Reserve. A compensating basin for four rivers, two of which are no longer true estuaries as sea water inflow is prevented. Water fluctuates from fresh to brackish depending on the season. The site is internationally important as dry season habitat for waterbirds. In winter, broad expanses of open water are fringed by samphire and rushes. Melaleuca woodlands occur behind the samphire belt and Eucalyptus woodland is found on higher ground. Site's area was significantly increased on 05/01/01. Ramsar site no. 484. Most recent RIS information: 2000.
Western District Lakes. 15/12/82; Victoria; 32,898 ha; 38º10'S 143º31'E. State Wildlife Reserves, Lake Reserves. Numerous lakes varying in depth and salinity from hypersaline to fresh water, which serve as a drought refuge for tens of thousands of ducks, swans, coots and other waterbirds. Several vulnerable, rare or endangered plants occur within the site, including the nationally endangered species Lepidium ashersonii. The lakes are used for recreational purposes, fishing and duck hunting as well as grazing, commercial fishing, and waste water disposal. Ramsar site no. 268. Most recent RIS information: 1998.
Western Port Bay. 15/12/82; Victoria; 59,297 ha; 38º22'S 145º17'E. A coastal embayment incorporating vast mudflats, two sites of international, geological and geomorphological significance, and nationally important expanses of relatively undisturbed, species-rich, saltmarsh vegetation. An internationally important feeding and roosting area for numerous species of summering waders, many of which are listed under the bilateral Migratory Birds Agreements Australia has with Japan and China. The site periodically supports over 10,000 waders and 10,000 ducks and swans, and a rich invertebrate fauna of 1,381 species. There is intensive use by commercial shipping. Human activities include recreation, commercial fishing, water extraction, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 267. Most recent RIS information: 1998.