Australian Wetlands Database

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Bool and Hacks Lagoons

Overview

Key facts and figures:

Date of listing:

01 November 1985

The Bool Lagoon Game Reserve provides boardwalks and bird hides (2006),  Photo: Bruce Gray

Australian Ramsar site number:

26

Criteria: 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

State/Territory:

South Australia

Area:

Approximately 3,200 hectares

Drainage Division or IMCRA  region:

South-East Coast

Wetland type: 

  • N - Seasonal/intermittent/irregular rivers/streams/creeks
  • O - Permanent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha); includes large oxbow lakes
  • P - Seasonal/intermittent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha); includes floodplain lakes
  • Tp - Permanent freshwater marshes/pools; ponds (below 8 ha), marshes and swamps on inorganic soils; with emergent vegetation water-logged for at least most of the growing season

Key features of the site:

The Bool and Hacks Lagoons Ramsar site, located near Naracoorte in south-east South Australia, is made up of the Bool Lagoon Game Reserve and the Hacks Lagoon Conservation Park. The wetland lies in an interdunal flat and is made up of several shallow circular basins.

Hacks Lagoon is a small semi-permanent freshwater wetland. Bool Lagoon is a larger seasonal wetland, receiving most of its water in winter and spring. Water levels in the wetlands are artificially managed by a regulating structure at the outlet of Bool Lagoon.

The lagoons contain a mosaic of aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation interspersed with areas of open water. The wetland has a high diversity and abundance of species. It is an important drought refuge and summer habitat for waterbirds, and an important flocking ground for the southern Australian population of the Brolga. There are 67 species of waterbird that are resident, or regular visitors, to the site and 19 migratory species of shorebirds used the wetlands as a stopover.

The Ramsar site also supports a number of nationally listed threatened species including the Australian Bittern, Painted Snipe, Southern Bell Frog, Striped Legless Lizard, Yarra Pygmy Perch, and Dwarf Galaxias.

The wetlands are used for conservation, recreation, tourism, research and as a floodwater basin. The Bool Lagoon is reserved as a game reserve and is used for duck hunting. The lagoons are located on lands traditionally associated with the Meintangk and Boandik people, and there is evidence that the area was used as a meeting place.

Justification of the listing criteria:

The Bool and Hacks Lagoons Ramsar site meets six of the nine criteria:

Criterion 1: The Bool and Hacks Lagoons Ramsar site, located in the South East Coast Australian Drainage Division, is an example of a freshwater wetland over fertile, alkaline soil. It is a semi-permanent wetland in an area where many wetlands of this type have been lost through regional drainage.

Criterion 2: Bool and Hacks Lagoons support a number of internationally and nationally listed vulnerable species including the Australian Bittern, Painted Snipe, Southern bell Frog, Striped Legless Lizard, Yarra Pygmy Perch, and Dwarf Galaxias. It is also habitat for 22 species of internationally listed migratory birds.

Criterion 3: The Bool and Hacks Lagoons are, located in the South East Coast Australian Drainage Division, has a regionally significant diversity and abundance of species. One hundred and sixteen bird species have been recorded at the site, including 14 species of raptors. There are 67 species of waterbird that are resident or regular visitors to the site. The wetland also supports a high diversity of aquatic vegetation communities.

Criterion 4: The Bool and Hacks Lagoons are an important drought refuge and summer habitat for many species of waterbirds in southern Australia, including the Freckled Duck. It is an important flocking ground for the southern Australian population of the Brolga, at times supporting around one third of the population for up to half a year. The site provides breeding habitat for 48 species of waterbirds, including important colonial breeding species and a migration stopover for 19 species of shorebirds.

Criterion 5: The Bool and Hacks Lagoons regularly supports in excess of 20,000 ducks. The Straw-necked Ibis and the Australian White Ibis are common in the nesting season and numbers often exceed 50,000.

Criterion 6: Over 1% of the world population of several waterbird species including the Australian Bittern, Painted Snipe, Australian Shoveler, Australian White Ibis, Black Swan, Blue-billed Duck, Brolga, Freckled Duck, Great White Egret and Straw-necked Ibis regularly use the Bool and Hacks Lagoons for the services the wetland provides such as food, shelter, breeding or flocking sites.

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.