Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula
The Port Phillip (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar Site was listed in 1982.
The Ramsar site is recognised for:
- the representative quality of its natural wetlands, and
- the large numbers of waterbirds supported on both its natural and artificial wetlands, especially migratory shorebirds and breeding colonies of several species including pied cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius), Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) and crested tern (Sterna bergii).
The site also provides:
- winter feeding habitat for up to 50 per cent of the global population of the nationally critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster)
- an important drought refuge through its wetlands for waterbirds when inland lakes and wetlands dry out.
Notable vegetation includes White Mangrove (Avicennia marina), saltmarsh and seagrass.
The site is made up of a number of wetlands stretching from Point Cook in Melbourne's south western suburbs to the north shore of Corio Bay north of Geelong and extending to the Bellarine Peninsula and Mud Islands.
- Cheetham wetlands and other wetlands in Point Cook Coastal Park and waters in the Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary managed by Parks Victoria and other adjacent waters managed by DEPI
- The Western Treatment Plant south east of Werribee which is managed by Melbourne Water and the adjacent waters which are managed by DEPI
- The Spit Nature Reserve which is managed by Parks Victoria
- Commonwealth land at the Avalon Airfield which is leased from the Department of Defence
- Public land on the northern shoreline of Corio Bay between Point Wilson and Limeburners Lagoon which is mainly managed by Parks Victoria and the adjacent waters which are managed by DEPI
- Limeburners Lagoon which is managed by Parks Victoria
- Swan Bay near Queenscliff and Mud Islands which are in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park managed by Parks Victoria
- The Lake Connewarre wetland system which is reserved as the Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve and managed by Parks Victoria
The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority is responsible for catchment and waterway management on the Bellarine Peninsula. The Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority is responsible for catchment management north of Geelong.
Ramsar site documents
The Port Phillip (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar Site Information Sheet can be found by visiting the Australian Ramsar Wetlands page on the Australian Government Department of the Environment website. The ecological character description for the Ramsar site has not been finalised.
Image: Marine Discovery Centre, Swan Bay (2010), Source: DEPI