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The Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project

Melbourne Water enhances and protects Victoria’s internationally recognised wetlands

A joint project managed by Melbourne Water to support and enhance Victoria’s Western Port and Port Phillip Bay shorelines has benefitted these important ecological wetlands by reducing predatory animals and improving habitat for local wildlife.

With funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project has eradicated feral pigs from Quail Island, significantly reduced feral cats from French Island, and reduced the predation of migratory and resident shorebird species like the Eastern curlew, Red-capped Plover, Fairy tern, and a diverse range of waterbird species.

Further, these ecosystems have been enhanced through landscape scale actions including weed control, revegetation, habitat augmentation and community engagement.

The Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project

“The Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project has helped protect the ecological character of the Western Port, and Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar sites,” Andrew Morrison, Melbourne Water Senior Asset Planner – Land & Catchments said.

“We’ve achieved great results through the management and reduction of invasive pest plants and animals, improved the wetlands’ hydrological regimes, controlled access to sensitive wetland habitats, and increased community awareness and understanding of Ramsar site values.”

The Western Port and Port Phillip Bay catchments are internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands, and are critical feeding grounds and nurseries for land, marine and freshwater animals.

In fact, listed as Wetlands of international Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, over 81,000 protected hectares across this landscape support a wide range of native plants, animals and birdlife of high conservation significance.

Melbourne Water, as a catchment management authority (CMA), is responsible for delivering land, water and biodiversity programs that enhance and protect the environment and support thriving communities in the Port Phillip and Westernport catchments. The Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project falls under this CMA plan.

This project was supported with funding from the Australian Government in partnership with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Nature Glenelg Trust, Parks Victoria, French Island Landcare, Hobsons Bay City Council and Phillip Island Nature Parks.

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