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Better protection for Pitt Water wetlands


Improved stormwater management is one of a number of strategies that will help the long-term conservation of the habitat and migratory birds of the Pitt Water Nature Reserve between Cambridge and Sorell.

Parks and Wildlife Service general manger Peter Mooney said the recently gazetted Pitt Water Nature Reserve Management Plan, guides the management of the reserve to ensure the long-term viability of its important values, including migratory birds, residential birds, other threatened species and the marine nursery and salt marsh values.

“The Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon is one of 10 Ramsar wetlands in Tasmania,” Mr Mooney said.

The Ramsar Convention recognises wetlands of International significance with an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for international cooperation and wise use of wetlands. The treaty, signed in the city of Ramsar, Iran in 1971, promotes the conservation of wetlands worldwide.

The Ramsar site and nature reserve is compromised of 826 hectares of wetlands, including Orielton Lagoon, part of Barilla Bay and the two main islands that can be seen from the Sorell Causeway – Barren and Woody islands.

The celebration of World Migratory Bird Day this weekend (11 & 12 May) is a day for raising awareness and highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats,” Mr Mooney said.

“The Ramsar site and nature reserve provides a temporary home to annual international visitors – some fly for more than 10,000 kilometres non-stop from Siberia and Alaska. This area is a critical feeding site for weary travellers to replenish energy reserves for their long journey home to breeding grounds.”

Annual avian visitors including the eastern curlew, bar-tailed godwit and red-necked stint, can often be seen foraging on the mud and sand flats alongside the causeway during the summer months.

Mr Mooney said the improved management of stormwater is a major initiative of the plan to improve water quality, particularly in Orielton Lagoon.

“Other strategies focus on better management of access and other key threats to the reserve. Because many threats to the reserve originate beyond its boundaries, the plan calls for the Parks and Wildlife Service, the local council and the community to continue to work together to ensure the protection of the reserve and its values into the future.”

Better protection for Pitt Water wetlands

Orielton Lagoon with the Sorell causeway in the background.