RAMSAR Moreton Bay – A Rich Ecology
Lines In The Sand
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“The Moreton Bay Ramsar site is located in and around Moreton Bay, east of Brisbane in Queensland. Moreton Bay is a semi-enclosed basin bounded on its eastern side by two large sand islands. Islands in the site include all of Moreton Island, and parts of North and South Stradbroke Islands, Bribie Island and the Southern Bay Islands.
Other parts of the site include waters and tributaries of Pumicestone Passage, some intertidal and subtidal areas of the western bay, southern bay and sandy channels of the Broadwater region, marine areas and sand banks within the central and northern bay and some ocean beach habitats.
Wetlands on the site include seagrass and shoals in the eastern banks, tidal flats and associated estuarine assemblages within the Pumicestone Passage, mangroves and saltmarsh in the southern bay, coral communities of the eastern bay, freshwater wetlands and peatland habitats on the Bay Islands and ocean beaches and foredunes on Moreton island.
The extensive Mangrove and tidal flats provide a nursery for fish and crustaceans, and also support birds and other marine life. The sandflats provide roosting sites for migratory birds.
The seagrass areas provide food and habitat for fish, crustaceans, the internationally vulnerable Dugong, and the nationally threatened Loggerhead Turtles, Hawksbill Turtle and Green Turtle. Other nationally threatened species that occupy the site include the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch and Honey Blue-eye, Water Mouse and the Australia Painted Snipe.
The site supports more than 50,000 migratory waders during their non-breeding season. At least 43 species of wading birds use the intertidal habitats, including 30 migratory species listed on international conservation agreements.
The close proximity of the wetlands to Brisbane and other populated areas makes the site a popular recreation area for tourism, birdwatching, water based recreation, scuba diving, four wheel driving, camping and boating. Parts of the site are conservation reserves. Commercial activities such as shipping, transport and fishing also occur within the site.
Moreton Bay Ramsar site lies in the traditional estate of a number of Indigenous groups including the Kabi Kabi, Jagera and Turrbal, Quandamooka (Ngugi, Noonucle, Gorenpul), and Yugambeh and Ngarang-Wal/Kombumeri. Evidence from these excavations and other archaeological sites discovered in Moreton Bay indicates that fishing, the collection of shellfish and the gathering of local food plants were important activities for Indigenous peoples living in the region”.
Retrieved from https://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/wetlands/ramsardetails.pl?refcode=41, September 6 2016.