Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - June 2011
Full document - very large files
- Corner Inlet Ramsar site Ecological Character Description (PDF - 21 MB) | Corner Inlet Ramsar site Ecological Character Description(Word - 19 MB)
- Corner Inlet Ramsar site Ecological Character Description
- Cover, acknowledgements, contents and executive summary (PDF - 517 KB) | Cover, acknowledgements, contents and executive summary (Word - 364 KB)
- Chapter 1 Introduction and Chapter 2 Site description (PDF - 2449 KB) | Chapter 1 Introduction and Chapter 2 Site Description (Word - 4071 KB)
- Chapter 3 Critical components, processes and services/benefits and Chapter 4 Limits of acceptable change(PDF - 1411 KB) | Chapter 3 Critical components, processes and services/benefits(Word - 3660 KB)
- Chapter 5 Changes to ecological character and threats, and Chapter 6 Information gaps, monitoring and education (PDF - 262 KB) | Chapter 5 Changes to ecological character and threats, and Chapter 6 Information gaps, monitoring and education(Word - 375 KB)
- Chapter 7 References, Chapter 8 Glossary and Appendices A-D (PDF - 667 KB) | Chapter 7 References, Chapter 8 Glossary and Appendices A-D(Word - 803 KB)
About the document
An Ecological Character Description describes the ecological character of a wetland at the time of its listing as a Wetland of International Importance. The Ecological Character Description is a fundamental management tool for site managers, forming the basis of management planning and action as well as including guidance on site monitoring requirements to detect changes in the ecological character of the site.
The Corner Inlet Ramsar site is located approximately 200 kilometres south-east of Melbourne and is the most southerly marine embayment and intertidal system of mainland Australia. It consists of a submerged plain covered by sand or mud flats with well developed seagrass beds, and large sand islands. A radiating system of deeper channels supports efficient tidal exchange over the flats and the areas between the islands. The site covers an area of 67,186 hectares.
The ecological character of a wetland is the sum of all the components, processes and services of that wetland. Ecosystem components are physical, chemical and biological parts of a wetland, from large-scale to very small-scale (e.g. habitat, species and genes). Ecosystem processes are the dynamic forces within an ecosystem. They include all those processes that occur between organisms and within and between populations and communities, including interactions with the non-living environment that result in existing ecosystems and bring about changes in ecosystems over time. Ecosystem services are the benefits that people receive from ecosystems.
This document describes the critical components, processes and services for the Corner Inlet Ramsar site. The Ramsar site has nine critical components, processes and services including the presence of several key wetland mega-habitat types, an abundance and diversity of waterbirds, waterbird breeding, nationally threatened fauna species and outstanding fish habitat values. The description also identifies limits of acceptable change which describe the range of variation on which key aspects of the ecology of the site can vary without representing a change in the ecological character. Limits of acceptable change for the Corner Inlet Lakes Ramsar site have been proposed for all critical components, processes and benefits and services based on existing data. This document also describes the current Ramsar listing criteria met by the site, the key threats and knowledge gaps for the Corner Inlet Ramsar site. Recommended monitoring needs and communication messages are also provided.
Further information on what Ecological Character Descriptions are and how critical components, processes and services are identified is available in the National Framework and Guidance for Describing the Ecological Character of Australian Ramsar Wetlands – Module 2 of the National Guidelines for Ramsar Wetlands – Implementing the Ramsar Convention in Australia.