Environment SA News

$17 million to improve South Australian shorebird and wetland habitat

The Australian Government has committed $17 million for a new project to improve shorebird and wetland habitat across South Australia's Coorong, Lower Lakes, Murray Mouth and South East landscape.

$17 million to improve South Australian shorebird and wetland habitat

Located at the base of the Murray River, the region is home to internationally recognised wetland that supports a diverse range of plants and animals including the endangered Australasian bittern and the vulnerable sharp-tailed sandpiper, the vulnerable southern bell frog and the Murray hardyhead, which is nationally vulnerable and critically endangered in South Australia.

The Commonwealth and South Australian Labor governments will work together to deliver the project, building on habitat restoration activities already underway in the region.

The funding will:

  • deliver a range of localised infrastructure on wetland and floodplain flats to increase the area and duration of quality shorebird and wetland habitat
  • maintain food webs and improve critical breeding habitat for foraging waterbirds and other threatened species
  • improve outcomes for waterbirds and strengthen Australia’s commitment to international obligations including the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) will work closely with relevant community groups, landholders and Landscape Boards to develop a regional approach to habitat restoration targeting smaller wetlands that cumulatively have a large impact and create a connected mosaic of habitats across the region.

DEW Acting Director Water Infrastructure and Operations Lisa Stribley said the Coorong, Lower Lakes, Murray Mouth and South East regions are areas of incredible biodiversity in South Australia.

“A number of important habitat restoration projects are already planned or well underway, and this new funding will add to the work being undertaken," she said.

“It is vital that we help our wetland environments to thrive so they can remain strong into the future for the important wildlife that relies on them.”

The integrated project will also work with First Nations groups to connect to Country and meet cultural obligations while ensuring the survival of healthy shorebird populations and vital wetland habitat.