Blue Lake Ramsar site: Ecological character description

Ecological character has been defined as ‘the combination of the ecosystem components, processes and benefits/services that characterise the wetland at a given point’. Blue Lake and Hedley Tarn became a Ramsar site on 17 March 1996, and the Australian Government is required to establish the ecological character of sites at the time of listing.

1 June 2008
Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW
  • ISBN 978-1-74122-838-0
  • ID DECC20080273
  • File PDF 1.8MB
  • Pages 88
  • Name ecological-character-description-blue-lake-ramsar-site-080273.pdf

This document summarises the ecological information available for this Ramsar site. Key ecological benefits/services provided by the Blue Lake Ramsar site include that it is a rare and unique example of a near-natural wetland; flora, fauna, bioregion and biosphere support; hydrological stability; sediment retention; recreation and tourism; and cultural heritage. Processes and components that support these services may be summarised as climate, geomorphology, hydrology, physico-chemical environment, habitats, flora and fauna. 

Blue Lake and Hedley Tarn are located in Kosciuszko National Park in the alpine region of NSW at a surface elevation of approximately 1890 m and 1850 m above sea level, respectively. Together with Lake Cootapatamba, Albina Lake and Club Lake, they make up the alpine lakes of south-eastern Australia. Blue Lake is one of only four cirque lakes on mainland Australia and is the only lake exhibiting a dimictic thermal regime.