Australian Wetlands Database

Ramsar wetlands

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Jocks Lagoon


Key facts and figures:

Date of listing:

16 November 1982

Jocks Lagoon is only one of a chain of lagoons, swamps and wetlands (2009),  Photo: SEWPaC

Australian Ramsar site number:



1, 3, 4




18.58 hectares

Drainage Division or IMCRA  region:


Wetland type: 

  • E - Sand, shingle or pebble shores; includes sand bars, spits and sandy islets; includes dune systems and humid dune slacks
  • K - Coastal freshwater lagoons; includes freshwater delta lagoons
  • Ts - Seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes/pools on inorganic soils; includes sloughs, potholes, seasonally flooded meadows, sedge marshes
  • U - Non-forested peatlands; includes shrub or open bogs, swamps, fens

Key features of the site:

The Jocks Lagoon Ramsar Site is located about five kilometres south-east of the township of St Helens on the north-east coast of Tasmania. It is one of a chain of lagoons, swamps and wetlands occurring along St Helens Point.

Jocks Lagoon is a small freshwater lagoon which is fed from surface runoff and groundwater. The site is located in sands and clays separated from the sea by a beach and sand dunes.

The dominant vegetation community within the lagoon itself is freshwater aquatic sedgeland and rushland, with several beds of tall sedges and waterribbons as emergent plants. Spreading Swordsedge open sedgeland and Jointed Twigsedge dominate a small edge zone on the south-west side in a mixture with scrub. Melaleuca swamp forest dominates along the eastern side of the lagoon. On higher ground these communities become coastal heathland and Acacia coastal scrub with some areas dominated by the introduced Marram Grass. Most of the vegetation communities on the site are threatened in Tasmania. The site also contains two regionally rare plant species, the Jointed Twigsedge and Erect Marshflower.

The lagoon supports microcrustaceans and macrocrustaceans, including Burrowing Freshwater Crayfish. The Brown Froglet and Eastern Banjo Frog also occur within the site.

Most of the site is private freehold land, with a small section at the south-east end falling within the St Helens Point Conservation Area. The site is mainly used for conservation and recreation.

Justification of the listing criteria:

The Jocks Lagoon Ramsar Site meets three of the nine criteria:

Criterion 1: The Jocks Lagoon Ramsar Site is in the Tasmanian Australian Drainage Division. It is a representative example of a coastal freshwater lagoon in good condition.

Criterion 3: The Jocks Lagoon Ramsar Site is in the Tasmanian Australian Drainage Division. It is recognised as a key site for two regionally rare species, the Jointed Twigsedge and Erect Marshflower.

Criterion 4: The Jocks Lagoon Ramsar Site is a locally important freshwater aquatic habitat in an otherwise dry and saline area. The threatened Jointed Twigsedge and Erect Marshflower are dependant on wetlands for survival.

Please see the More Information page for additional information on this Ramsar site and access to the Ramsar Information sheets and other associated site documents.