Tasmanian Ramsar Sites
Australia has so far listed 65 sites on the Convention on Wetlands.
Tasmanian's ten sites are:
- Moulting Lagoon
- Logan Lagoon
- Pittwater-Orielton Lagoon
- Apsley Marshes
- East Coast-Cape Barren Island Lagoons
- Flood Plain Lower Ringarooma River
- Jocks Lagoon
- Little Waterhouse Lake
Managing Ramsar sites
As signatories to the convention the Australian Government has undertaken to promote the conservation of recognised wetlands, and provides an undertaking to maintain the ecological character and hydrological functions of the sites. Under the Australian Constitution, day to day management of sites is delegated to the states and territories and therefore the obligations listed above also apply to Tasmania.
Legislative protection is provided to Ramsar sites under the Australian Governments
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). Under the EPBC, Ramsar sites are recognised as features of National Environmental Significance, and provided protection from activities that occur within and outside of their boundaries which have the potential to impact on their ecological character.
Activities that may trigger the act are:
Areas of the wetland are destroyed or substantially modified
There is a major and measurable change in the natural hydrological regime of the wetland (eg change to the timing, duration and frequency of ground and surface water flows to and within the wetland)
The habitat or lifecycle of native species dependant upon the wetland is seriously affected
There is a major and measurable change in the physio-chemical status of the wetland (eg salinity, pollutants, nutrients, temperature, turbidity)
Invasive species are introduced into the wetland
Photograph of Moulting Lagoon by Bruce Miller
What is Ramsar?
Widely known as the Ramsar Convention, after the Iranian city in which it was signed, the Convention on Wetlands (1971) is an international agreement which recognised wetland areas which of international significance. Tasmania currently has ten of these internationally recognised wetlands which are often referred to as Ramsar sites.