|List||Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)|
|Legal Status||Indicative Place|
|Place File No||3/09/070/0023|
|Nominator's Statement of Significance|
|The American River Wetland System is ecologically significant because it provides habitat which is important as a refuge and breeding area for many species of invertebrates and fish, which in turn provide an important food source for many species of fish, birds and mammals. The area is a known refuge and nursery area for the King George whiting (SILLAGINODES PUNCTATUS). The Wetland System supports a large variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species including fifty-six species of waterbird. This number of waterbird species is significant compared to numbers found on wetlands elsewhere in southern Australia. The area is a habitat of nine waterbirds considered rare or vulnerable in South Australia. The eastern reef egret (EGRETTA SACRA) and the Australasian shoveler (ANAS RHYNCHOTIS) are considered rare. Vulnerable species using the area include; the Cape Barren Goose (CEREOPSIS NOVAEHOLLANDIAE), musk duck (BIZIURA LOBATA), osprey (PANDION HALIAETUS), white-bellied sea-eagle (HALIAEETUS LEUCOGASTER), hooded plover (CHARADRIUS CUCULLATUS), eastern curlew (NUMENIUS MADAGASCARIENSIS) and fairy tern (STERNA NEREIS). The hooded plover is also considered rare on an international scale and breeds in the System (Criterion B.1). A number of non-waterbird species which use the System are also considered to be endangered or rare in South Australia. The bush thick-knee (BURHINUS GRALLARIUS) and glossy black cockatoo (CALYPTORHYNCHUS LATHAMI) are endangered, the Australian ground thrush (ZOOTHERA LUNULATA) is rare and the peregrine falcon (FALCO PEREGRINUS), shy heath wren (SERICORNIS CAUTUS) and southern emu-wren (STIPITURUS MALACHURUS) are vulnerable. The System is an important breeding area for the bush thick-knee (Criterion B.1). The area is also used by the Australian sea-lion (NEOPHOCA CINEREA) which is classified as rare.|
|Official Values Not Available|
|The Wetland System is a large, permanently shallow lagoon connected to the open ocean by a narrow channel known as American River. The calm environmental conditions and minimal wave action in the Wetland System, have enhanced the development of tidal flats of mud and sand and encouraged subtidal seagrass beds to grow prolifically. The System contains eight islets and its shorelines include shelly beaches, rocky points (limestone) and mud flats. The water is less than two metres deep at low tide in Pelican Lagoon and is probably similar elsewhere. It probably receives some freshwater inflow, via the American River channel, from several unnamed creeks originating 1km to the north-west on a ridge south of the American River township. In general the salinity would be similar to that of sea water, but likely to vary. Vegetation within the nominated area includes beds of sea grass, mainly HETEROZOSTERA TASMANICA and POSIDONIA AUSTRALIS and algae species. Samphire grows on the mud flats and some islands. The island vegetation comprises mainly heathlands of OLEARIA AXILLARIS and PIMELEA SERPYLLIFOLIA. The mainland comprises a mixture of vegetation types. Predominant types include heathlands of ACACIA LEIOPHYLLA and ORTHROSANTHUS MULTIFLORUS, SENECIO ODORATUS herblands, coastal mallee (EUCALYPTUS DIVERSIFOLIA) scrub, samphire flats and grazed grasslands. The American River Wetland System is a valuable site because of the abundant sea grass beds and the large number of vertebrate and invertebrate species that live there. Many waterbirds use the System including nine species that breed eg the chestnut teal (ANAS CASTANEA), pied oystercatcher (HAEMATOPUS LONGIROSTRIS), sooty oystercatcher (HAEMATOPUS FULIGINOSUS) and Caspian tern (HYDROPOGNE CASPIA). The little penguin (EUDYPTULA MINOR), a seabird, also breeds there. The System is also the home of a local pod of bottle-nosed dolphin (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS). Seventeen waterbird species are listed on international migratory treaties; sixteen are listed on the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA) and seventeen are listed on the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement.(CAMBA)|
|History Not Available|
|Condition and Integrity|
|Generally good. Land uses in the area include conservation, recreation including motor boating and grazing. Some of the islands and large parts of the mainland within Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park have been burned and grazed in the past. The absence of foxes (VULPES VULPES) and rabbits (ORYCTOLAGUS CUNICULUS) presumably has helped maintain the integrity of undisturbed areas. Fishing was prohibited in the Aquatic Reserve prior to its declaration in 1971. The removal, dredge or deposit of any fish, sand, shell, coral, rock, plant or other benthic or marine substance is prohibited. The waters adjacent to the Reserve have also been closed to netting so as to provide a buffer to the core reserve area.|
|About 2000ha, American River township, Kangaroo Island, Lat/Long: to approximate centre 35deg 49' 00" S, 137deg 47' 00" E AMG: 750000 mE, 6032000 mN, zone 53. The area includes the American River channel, the lagoons at the end of the channel and some of the eastern mainland, incorporating Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park, coastal reserve sections 454, 455 and 458 and the Fisheries Aquatic Reserve known as American River. The perimeter of the lagoons is defined by their high water mark and in the north-west by the entrance to the American River channel, boundary formed by a line from Strawbridge to Buicks Point.|
Baxter, C. and Berris, M. (1989).
An annotated list of the birds of Kangaroo Island.
National Parks and Wildlife Service, Adelaide. |
Department of Environment and Planning (1987). Conservation Parks of Kangaroo Island: Beatrice Islet, Busby Islet, Cape Hart, Cape Torrens, Dudley, Mount Taylor, Nepean Bay, Pardana, Pelican Lagoon, Seddon, Vivonne Bay, Western River. Pp. 98. Department of Environment and Planning, Adelaide.
Garnett, S. (1992). Threatened and extinct birds of Australia. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report Number 82. Pp. 212. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Melbourne.
Jackson, I. (1993). Kangaroo Island wildflowers illustrated. Pp. 106. GB and JM Rees, Kangaroo Island, S.A.
Jaensch, R. P., Vervest, R.M. and Hewish, M.J. (1988). Waterbirds in nature reserves of south-western Australia 1981-1985: reserve accounts. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report Number 30. Pp. 290. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Melbourne.
Lloyd, L.N. and Balla, S.A. (1986). Wetlands and water resources of South Australia. Department of Environment and Planning, Adelaide.
Morelli, J. and Drewien, G. (1993). South Australia pp. 7-1 to 7-44 in S. Usback and R. James (eds) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Pp. 715. Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra.
Raines, J.A. (unpub.). Wetlands of outstanding ornithological importance for the Register of the National Estate in south-west Western Australia: methodology and discussion. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report Number xx. Pp. y. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Melbourne.
Trebeck and Ball (unpub.). Baseline study of Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island. South Australian College of Advanced Education, Salisbury, S.A.
Womersley, H.B.S. (1947). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. I. A general account of the algal ecology. Transcripts of the Royal Society of South Australia. 71(2): 228-52.
Womersley, H.B.S. (1956). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. IV. The algal ecology of American River Inlet. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Resources. 7(1): 343-83.
Report Produced Fri Dec 20 22:50:08 2013