The Coastal Ramsar project aims to protect and enhance the ecological values of the internationally significant Vasse-Wonnerup wetland system. The system supports over 30 fish species and more than 37,500 waterbirds of 90 different species.
This wetland system is listed under the Ramsar Convention; an intergovernmental, multilateral treaty on the conservation of designated Wetlands of International Importance.
SWCC has partnered with Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to undertake rehabilitation at key sites within the wetland system which will provide important riparian buffers, habitat for wildlife and landscape connectively to adjacent remnant vegetation.
Over the past year, three sites totalling 6.5ha have undergone further weed and pest management, and 14,400 seedlings have been infilled, enhancing habitat and roosting sites for migratory birds and other species.
A soil improvement trial for wetland planting was undertaken using the soil priming agent Bioprime to boost soil microbiology. The trial demonstrated that the Bioprime product increased the seedling survival rate by almost half on dryer sandy sites (80% surviving compared to 44% in the control sites), but had little impact on the survival of seedlings in the wetter sites.
The revegetation work will remediate in part the impacts of historical land use and disturbances such as habitat loss, fragmentation and land degradation, by establishing a vegetated corridor between the adjacent forest and the Vasse-Wonnerup Ramsar wetlands. This will protect and enhance the riparian vegetation, provide roosting sites for birds and improve the habitat’s resilience and biodiversity.
“Degraded wet areas are often heavily burdened by weeds, and seasonal inundation restricts management access. Persistence and continuity of funding are essential for success”
SWCC’s Biodiversity Project Manager, Pip Marshall, highlights the challenges in revegetating in a wetland environment
This partnership project with Department of Conservation, Biodiversity and Attractions will continue, with infill plantings planned for the revegetation sites in June 2018.
Other planned activities also include continued efforts to reduce weeds and pests at the sites, to ensure the revegetation establishes successfully and is protected into the future.
Historically, the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands estuary and Geographe Bay were a major food source for the local Wardandi people. There are 16 Aboriginal heritage sites listed by Department of Aboriginal Affairs within or close to the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands (Vasse-Wonnerup Ecological Character Description).
- Department of Conservation, Biodiversity and Attractions
2.5 ha of revegetation
6.5 ha of revegetation
5 ha pest management
14 ha pest management