Over 3,100 hectares added to Narran Lake Ramsar Site

Environment Minister Mark Speakman today marked World Wetlands Day by announcing an extension of more than 3,100 hectares to the Narran Lake Nature Reserve Ramsar Site in northern NSW.

Narran Lake, RAMSAR Site, a rare and unique wetland, undisturbed terminal lake system

Mr Speakman said the Ramsar site, an internationally listed breeding area for water birds from across the world, increased to 8,447 hectares from 5,343 hectares.

“The expansion area equates to almost the same size as Norfolk Island. It captures the existing nature reserve’s full floodplain and includes more breeding and feeding habitat for water birds,” Mr Speakman said.

“Many of the beautiful water birds that gather in Australian wetlands such as Narran Lake fly up to 15,000 kilometres from countries as far away as Siberia in their annual migration. The birds need protected habitat on a global scale to maintain their breeding cycle.”

Mr Speakman thanked the Narran Lake Nature Reserve Co-management Committee for ensuring the wetlands remained protected.

Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said Narran Lake Nature Reserve provided habitat for numerous water bird species listed under international migratory bird conservation agreements.

“Ramsar listing gives the expanded area additional protection under national environment law and the Ramsar convention,” Mr Hunt said.

Narran Lake Nature Reserve Co-management Committee Chair Jason Wilson said the Ramsar site and nature reserve have historically been significant meeting places for Aboriginal people and they continue to be today.

“We are pleased to see these wetlands being recognised internationally as a special place in the world,” Mr Wilson said.

The Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries welcomed the announcement. “The Ramsar site extension will further protect the area’s rich environmental value and ensure it continues to be a place of cultural importance to local Aboriginal people,” Mr Humphries said.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Youalaroi Traditional Owners will continue to manage the site.