Enhancement of NSW Central Murray Forests Ramsar Site

Ramsar listed wetlands are internationally recognised for their uniqueness and biodiversity values. Australia currently has 66 wetlands listed under the Ramsar Convention.

Moira Lake, Murray Valley National Park

About the NSW Central Murray Forests Ramsar site

The NSW Central Murray Forests Ramsar site consists of the three key forest areas in the central Murray area. These are the Millewa, the Werai and the Koondrook-Perricoota Forests, totalling approximately 90,000 Ha.

These forests provide habitat to a wide range of key wetland and terrestrial species within the Murray region. The site supports a wide range of native flora and fauna including eight threatened species of fish, plants and birds. It is also habitat for eleven migratory birds listed under international agreements.

This project directly addresses the key threat of invasive pest animal species (pigs, deer, rabbits and foxes) which impact on native plants and animals. Exotic weeds will also be targeted which out-compete native flora, choking natural waterways and harbouring pest animals.

Within the Ramsar site, the Millewa wetlands are key nesting and breeding sites for the Australasian Bittern. This project will also improve population monitoring techniques and create additional wetland habitats for the Bittern.

The NSW Central Murray Ramsar site in southern NSW is the global hotspot for the Endangered Australasian bittern. The Yadabal Lagoon remediation project seeks to increase habitat areas within the Ramsar site for this cryptic bird, and at the same time providing opportunity, skills and training to First Nations people and local Aboriginal Ranger crews working on Country.

Watch the project video.

What are we doing?

The Ramsar project team works with key land managers, landowners and local Aboriginal groups to undertake pest and weed control activities within and around the Ramsar site providing assistance, knowledge and training where necessary.

The team engages contractors and community groups to undertake works such as fox baiting, pig, rabbit and deer control, and boxthorn, blackberry and other invasive weed control. The team is also currently working with the Rice Growers Association and water delivery groups to enhance wetlands and monitor and improve Australasian bittern populations.

We have a stakeholder committee made up of key land managers, Aboriginal group representatives and a number of adjacent landholders which meets regularly to provide input into the project.

How can you help?

If you are a community group, individual or landholder with an interest in wetlands and our local threatened native species and would like to learn more about them, we hold community events such as field days and workshops on a range of related topics such as feral pest control and wetland values.

To find out about these events or if you would like some information, please contact one of our team members below or subscribe to our NRM newsletter, visit our Murray LLS Facebook events page. If you would like to join our stakeholder group please contact one of our team members.

Pollack Swamp

Project achievements

Over the last 5 years, the Ramsar Project has:

  • Controlled pest animals over 175,424 ha (ground and air control)
  • Almost 1,000 feral deer removed (aerial control)
  • Removal of an estimated 2,100 foxes from Werai and Koondrook-Perricoota sites (baiting)
  • Improved 454 ha of aquatic areas
  • Revegetated 92 ha of habitat
  • Controlled weeds across 3,061 ha
  • Partnered with Aboriginal organisations on 23 projects ($550,000)

This work couldn’t have been undertaken without the support of our project partners, participants, and funding providers. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Terrific programs – Great to see everyone actually doing stuff and making a real difference

“Good to see what everyone is up to and sharing objectives and views. It was great to hear Josh’s comments about his connection to country as a non-Indigenous person. It is important that non-Indigenous people have basic cultural heritage knowledge for protection purposes. This area belongs to all of us, black and white, so let’s educate, protect and preserve it the best we can for future generations to come

Feedback (about Pollack environmental recovery programs) has been overwhelmingly positive with newfound knowledge to be passed on to school children in the future

More Information

Jamie Hearn – Senior Land Services Officer. M: 0447 420 789 E: Jamie.Hearn@lls.nsw.gov.au

Josh Campbell – Land Services Officer. M: 0427 104 874 E: Josh.Campbell@lls.nsw.gov.au

This project is supported by Murray Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

National Landcare Program logo

Attendees at ramsar project field day

Related information