Director of National Parks
Kakadu Ramsar site expands
12 May 2010
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Kakadu National Park will become a single, internationally recognised Ramsar wetland, with the expansion and merger of its two separate Ramsar sites.
Director of National Parks Peter Cochrane said the merger added another 600,000 hectares to bring the Ramsar boundaries in line with the existing park boundaries.
"This merger sends a clear signal that we are managing Kakadu's entire 1.98 million hectares for its international wetland significance, taking a whole-of-landscape approach to conservation," Mr Cochrane said.
The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve remaining wetlands through wise use and management.
Australia was one of the first countries to sign the Ramsar Convention in 1974.
Kakadu's wetlands - the tropical rivers, floodplains and billabongs - are habitat for dozens of species of waterbirds and rich breeding grounds for native freshwater fish and fresh and saltwater crocodiles.
An additional three Ramsar sites managed by Parks Australia will also undergo boundary amendments.
"Amendments will also be made to Ramsar wetlands sites in the Indian Ocean territories, at Pulu-Keeling and Christmas Island national parks," Mr Cochrane said.
"For example, Christmas Island's Hosnie's Spring Ramsar site will be expanded from 0.33 hectares to 202 hectares."
Kakadu first received Ramsar status in 1980. Hosnie's Spring received its listing in 1990, while Pulu-Keeling National Park was first listed in 1996.
Further information on Ramsar sites managed by Parks Australia is available at environment.gov.au/wetlands
The virtual tour of the Kakadu National Park wetlands is available here >>
Media contact: Margot Marshall, 02 6274 2486