Department of Parks adn Wildlife
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Pitcher plant - Photo © Parks and Wildlife

Having information about wetlands improves our ability to make informed decisions about the management and conservation of wetlands.

The department coordinates mapping of Western Australia’s wetlands.

As a minimum, mapping identifies the presence of wetlands, but it can also identify the wetland boundary, classification, and values, and assign the wetland to a management category on the basis of its values.

In liaison with the Wetland Status Working Group, the department provides guidance on appropriate identification, delineation, classification and evaluation methods. It provides technical feedback to the state Wetlands Coordinating Committee on the technical validity of mapping methods and products.

Digital mapping

The department produces and maintains the following digital datasets that contain spatial data and associated attribution.

Wetland mapping can be viewed via Landgate’s public map viewer Locate. Wetland mapping datasets can be downloaded free via the WA government data portal.


 

Augusta to Walpole

The Geomorphic Wetlands Augusta to Walpole dataset displays the location, boundary and wetland type of wetlands from Augusta to Walpole.

The dataset was originally digitised from the 1997 report, Mapping and classification of wetlands from Augusta to Walpole in the South West of Western Australia (V & C Semeniuk Research Group) available from the Conservation Library.

Wetland mapping can be viewed via Landgate’s public map viewer Locate. Wetland mapping datasets can be downloaded free via the WA government data portal.


 

Salt lakes mapped in the dataset - Photo © A Shanahan

Cervantes Eneabba

The Geomorphic Wetlands Cervantes Eneabba Stage 1 dataset displays the location, boundary and wetland type of wetlands covering over 360,000 hectares. The area encompasses Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Greenhead, Eneabba and Badgingarra town sites ( pdfmap2.56 MB—does not meet accessibility criteria)

Some of the area covered in this dataset, of which the department is the custodian, has been mapped at a finer scale and with more attribution (information) in two more recent datasets:

As a Stage 1 project, the dataset has a number of limitations:

Methodology and results

The Geomorphic Wetlands Cervantes Eneabba Stage 1 dataset and associated metadata statement have been endorsed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Wetland Status Working Group and the Wetlands Coordinating Committee.


 

Cervantes South

The Geomorphic Wetlands Cervantes South Stage 2 dataset displays detailed wetland mapping for a project area of about 1000,000 hectares near Cervantes and Cataby in the Shire of Dandaragan, on the northern Swan Coastal Plain ( pdfmap393.76 KB—does not meet accessibility criteria).

The dataset shows the location, boundary and wetland type of 770 wetlands, covering about 20 per cent of total project area.

Methodology and results

The methods and resulting dataset, Wetland mapping and classification Cervantes South and Geomorphic Wetlands Cervantes South Stage 2 dataset, have been endorsed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Wetland Status Working Group and the Wetlands Coordinating Committee.


 

Darkan-Duranillin

The Geomorphic Wetlands Darkan-Duranillin Stage 2 dataset displays the location, boundary and wetland type for wetlands within an area of about 150,000 hectares near Duranillin in the Shire of West Arthur, in the Wheatbelt region ( pdfmap831.65 KB—does not meet accessibility criteria).).

The dataset identifies 895 wetlands, covering about 19 per cent of the 150,000 hectare project area.

Methodology and results

The methods and resulting dataset have been endorsed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Wetland Status Working Group and the Wetlands Coordinating Committee.


 

South coast

The South Coast Significant Wetlands dataset displays the location and boundary of known regionally and internationally significant wetlands across an area of the south coast region.

The dataset can be viewed via Landgate’s public map viewer Locate.  The dataset can be downloaded free via the WA government data portal.

The dataset has been derived from data sources (available from the Conservation Library) including:


Blackwood Plateau wetland - Photo © N Thorning

 

South west

The department has managed a number of South West Catchment Council funded wetland mapping projects in the South West of Western Australia.

These projects have substantially increased the area for which wetlands have been mapped, classified and evaluated. This information is essential for effective planning and for the management and monitoring of wetlands in these priority areas. Wetland mapping projects include areas near Margaret River, Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, Donnybrook–Nannup and Manjimup–Northcliffe. Once this information is finalised and endorsed it will be made publicly available.


 

Swan Coastal Plain

Over a quarter of the land between Wedge Island and Dunsborough is wetland. Intact wetlands are exceptionally important ecosystems across this area, supporting an array of unique and important species of plants, animals, algae, fungi and bacteria.

By area, 20 per cent of wetlands across the Swan Coastal Plain retain high ecological values, making them the highest priority for conservation (conservation management category). About 72 per cent of wetlands have been degraded to the extent that they are not a priority for conservation (multiple use management category).

The Geomorphic Wetlands Swan Coastal Plain dataset displays the location, boundary, wetland typeand management category of wetlands of the Swan Coastal Plain ( pdfmap963.8 KB—does not meet accessibility criteria).

The dataset can be viewed via Landgate’s public map viewer Locate. The dataset can be downloaded free via the WA government data portal.

This dataset has been recognised and endorsed by the Wetlands Coordinating Committee, the Environmental Protection Authority and the then Department for Planning and Infrastructure as comprehensive wetland mapping, classification and evaluation which provides the basis to guide planning and decision making by the Environmental Protection Authority, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

 

What do the wetland management categories mean?

The wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain have been evaluated, and assigned a management category. Wetland management categories provide guidance on how they should be managed and protected.

Wetland management categories and objectives applied to the Swan Coastal Plain (adapted from Environmental Protection Authority 2008)

Management category

General description

Management objectives

Conservation

Wetlands which support a high level of attributes and functions.

Highest priority wetlands.

Objective is to preserve and protect the existing conservation values of the wetlands through various mechanisms including:

  • reservation in national parks, crown reserves and State owned land
  • protection under Environmental Protection Policies
  • wetland covenanting by landowners.

No development or clearing is considered appropriate. These are the most valuable wetlands and any activity that may lead to further loss or degradation is inappropriate.

Resource enhancement

Wetlands which may have been partially
modified but still support substantial
ecological attributes and functions

Priority wetlands

Ultimate objective is to manage, restore and protect towards improving their conservation value. These wetlands have the potential to be restored to Conservation category. This can be achieved by restoring wetland function, structure and biodiversity.
Protection is recommended through a number of mechanisms.

Multiple use

Wetlands with few remaining important
attributes and functions

Use, development and management should be considered in the context of ecologically
sustainable development and best management practice catchment planning through landcare.

Requesting changes to the Geomorphic Wetlands Swan Coastal Plain dataset

The dataset was originally digitised from the 1996 report, Wetlands of the Swan Coastal Plain Volume 2B Wetland Mapping, Classification and Evaluation: Wetland Atlas (Hill et al.).

As custodian, the department has regularly made changes to the dataset to reflect changes to wetlands.

How to apply for a dataset modification:

The wetland management category assigned to a Swan Coastal Plain wetland can be reviewed using pdfA methodology for the evaluation of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia which includes user-friendly templates for conducting wetland evaluations and site assessments.


 

Wheatbelt

The Wetlands of the Wheatbelt and other prioritised areas dataset displays the location and boundary of wetlands in the wider Wheatbelt area ( pdfmap146.36 KB—does not meet accessibility criteria).

The Wheatbelt basin and granite outcrop wetland evaluations dataset displays the conservation significance assigned to basin and granite outcrop wetlands.

As Stage 1 datasets, a number of limitations apply:

The methods and resulting dataset have been endorsed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Wetland Status Working Group and the Wetlands Coordinating Committee.

A methodology has been developed to for the detailed assessment of wetland values in the subject area. This methodology has been endorsed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Wetland Status Working Group and the Wetlands Coordinating Committee as a Stage 3 wetland evaluation methodology suitable for application to the subject area.


 

Non-digital wetland mapping

Broad scale wetland mapping projects have been conducted in various parts of the state.

These older studies have been published in report form rather than in digital datasets and are available from the Conservation Library.