Notification: Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

Rock wallabies bounce back in Kalbarri after translocation

The small but thriving population of rock wallabies in Kalbarri National Park has received a further boost, with 25 more wallabies introduced into the park this week.

The third and final translocation of the species into the park over three years, brings the number of radio-collared wallabies, introduced from Wheatbelt reserves and Cape Range National Park, in the Pilbara to 72.

Black flanked rock wallabies were considered extinct from Kalbarri National Park for 20 years, until two wallabies were filmed in a gorge in 2015.

The translocation is a collaboration between the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and WWF Australia.



219 native animals recovered from illegal smuggling attempt

Two-hundred and nineteen native animals have been recovered from an alleged smuggling operation after being discovered in a vehicle near Eucla, 1200km east of Perth. This is the largest seizure of native animals ever undertaken in WA.

WA Police Force intercepted the speeding vehicle on Eyre Highway, 20m west of Mundrabilla and discovered 15 large bags and around 15 plastic containers and bottles housing 198 reptiles, of which 58 are venomous, 16 marsupials, three cockroaches and two spiders.

WA Police Force seized the animals and handed them to the Parks and Wildlife Service for identification, a health assessment and holding. The animals are being assessed by vets at Perth Zoo.



State's most popular cadets program celebrates 20th anniversary

  • Youth-based conservation and education program, Bush Rangers WA, celebrates milestone.

  • Bush Rangers has the highest participation of Aboriginal students, female students and students with disability of any Cadets WA program.

Western Australia's biggest cadets program, Bush Rangers WA, has celebrated its 20th year.

Attending the annual Bush Rangers conference today in Perth, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson commended the program that encourages secondary school students to develop practical nature conservation skills and contribute to their local community.

Since its inception in 1998, the program has seen more than 18,500 young people take part, contributing 1.9 million volunteer hours to conservation and community projects.

There are currently 67 cadet units around the State from Kununurra to Esperance, comprising of more than 3200 secondary school students. Students take part in regular camps where they carry out planting, fencing or weeding; as well as adventurous activities including abseiling, swimming with whale sharks, and rock climbing.

Bush Rangers is coordinated by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and is part of the broader Cadets WA initiative, supported by the Department of Communities.



  • The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty on the conservation of important wetlands.

    Australia was among the first five member countries of the Ramsar Convention, and the first to nominate a wetland for listing. 

    Australian Ramsar wetland sites

    Australia has 65 Ramsar sites, covering more than 8.3 million hectares.

    Being a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, Australia has undertaken to ensure our internationally important wetlands are conserved.

    The federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, protects Australia's Ramsar wetlands by applying consistent management principles and arrangements between the Australian Government and the states.

    Any activity that may have a significant impact on a Ramsar wetland goes through a rigorous environmental assessment and approvals process.

    • Mullet Lake
      Mullet Lake - Photo © J Higbid/Parks and Wildlife
    • Peel-Yalgorup
      Peel-Yalgorup - Photo © K Wilson

    Ramsar wetland sites in Western Australia

    There are 12 Ramsar wetland sites in Western Australia.

    Parks and Wildlife has the lead role in recommending suitable wetlands to the state government for nomination on the List of Wetlands of International Importance via the Australian Government and the Ramsar Bureau.

    This process involves consulting with key stakeholders and preparing nomination documents containing details of the values and other features of each wetland.

    The 12 Ramsar wetlands in Western Australia
    Site (and further information)Ramsar information sheetMap              DescriptionManagement plan
    Becher Point Wetlands pdfBecher Point398.54 KB pdf 102 KB In preparation pdfRockingham Lakes Regional Park2.38 MB
    Eighty Mile Beach pdfEighty Mile Beach193.1 KB pdf188.77 KB pdfEighty Mile Beach3.79 MB

    pdfEighty Mile Beach Marine Park5.98 MB

    pdfSouthwest Kimberley4.1 MB

    Forrestdale and Thomsons Lakes pdfThomsons Forrestdale308.72 KB pdf 30 KB pdfForrestdale and Thomsons Lake6.04 MB

    pdfForrestdale Lake Nature Reserve631.45 KB

    pdfThomsons Lake851.77 KB

    Lake Gore pdfLake Gore393.02 KB pdf58 KB pdfLake Gore3.48 MB pdfEsperance and Recherche Parks20.84 MB
    Lake Warden System pdfLake Warden246.97 KB pdf267 KB pdfLake Warden System4.29 MB pdfEsperance and Recherche Parks20.84 MB
    Lakes Argyle and Kununurra pdfArgyle Kununurra151.67 KB pdf669 KB pdfLakes Argyle and Kununurra 4.23 MB  
    Muir-Byenup System pdfMuir Byenup254.88 KB pdf298 KB pdfMuir-Byenup System2.2 MB pdfPerup4.35 MB
    Ord River Floodplain pdfOrd River Floodplain604.14 KB pdf669 KB pdfOrd River Floodplain 6.16 MB pdfOrd River and Parry Lagoons Nature Reserves5.27 MB
    Peel-Yalgorup System pdfPeel-Yalgorup 300.05 KB pdf1.3 MB pdfPeel-Yalgorup System5.74 MB
    pdfSwan Coastal Plain South3.73 MB
    pdfLake McLarty2.63 MB
    pdfPeel-Yalgorup18.61 MB
    Roebuck Bay pdfRoebuck Bay261.82 KB pdf238 KB pdfRoebuck Bay 4.63 MB

    pdfYawuru Nagulagun/Roebuck Bay Marine Park4.33 MB

    pdfYawuru Birragun Conservation Park3.2 MB

    Toolibin Lake pdfToolibin Lake372.19 KB pdf835 KB pdfToolibin Lake1.39 MB

    pdfToolibin Lake4.9 MB

    pdfToolibin Lake Supporting Information

    pdfToolibin Lake Summary905.24 KB

    Vasse-Wonnerup System pdfVasse-Wonnerup 521.77 KB pdf1.0 MB pdfVasse-Wonnerup System7.76 MB

    pdfTuart Forest National Park1.62 MB

    pdfSwan Coastal Plain South3.73 MB

    World Wetlands Day

    On 2 February each year, World Wetlands Day, the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre holds the Annual Western Australian Management Conference to exchange information and ideas between wetland practitioners, with a focus on the latest developments on managing and restoring wetlands.

    Wetlands of national importance

    Lake Ballard, DIWA Site - Photo © S Kern

    As a key part of their commitment to recognising Australia's most important wetlands, all state, territory and commonwealth governments have jointly compiled a Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.

    The Directory identifies more than 800 nationally important wetlands, and provides a substantial knowledge base of what defines wetlands, their variety, and the many plants and animals that depend on them.

    It includes information about their social and cultural values, and some of the benefits they provide to people. It is a valuable tool for managers and others interested in Australia's important wetlands.

    Visit the Australian Wetlands Database for up-to-date information on nationally important wetlands.

    Wetlands are identified as nationally important if they:

    • provide a good example of a wetland type occurring within a biogeographical region in Australia
    • play an important ecological or hydrological role in the major functioning of a major wetland system/complex
    • provide important habitat for animals at a vulnerable stage in their life cycles, or a refuge when adverse conditions (such as drought) prevail
    • support at least one per cent of the national populations of any native plant or animal species
    • support nationally threatened plant or animal species, or ecological communities
    • are of outstanding historical or cultural significance.

    Of the 904 currently listed nationally important wetlands, 65 are recognised as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention.

    Lake Quallilup - Photo © M Coote and H Smith

    Western Australia's nationally listed wetlands

    Western Australia has 120 nationally important wetlands and wetland systems covering more than 2.5 million hectares.

    • Most of these wetlands occur within existing or proposed reserves managed by Parks and Wildlife.
    • Some occur on private property or pastoral lease, or lands for other purposes so their conservation depends on community assistance through programs such as Landcare, Land for Wildlife or Healthy Wetland Habitats.