Wetland inventories are field-based projects that involve the collection of information about wetlands and specifically their location, size, biophysical features and management.
Wetland inventory is generally based on ground-survey, often with the support of aerial photography, topographic mapping and satellite imagery. These tools enable practitioners to better define the spatial extents of wetland dependent ecosystems and learn about their environmental water requirements.
Inventories can be undertaken at a range of different scales (national, regional, catchment, site and habitat), depending on purpose and objectives of the inventory. In South Australia most inventories have been conducted at the regional scale.
The wetland inventory data helps to identify the biodiversity value of wetlands by describing hydrological and ecological attributes. Such information can be used to identify high conservation value aquatic ecosystems such as those described in the directory of important wetlands in Australia, as well as influencing policy and planning and decision making.
Funding for wetland inventory work has been provided by federal and state government.
A series of wetland inventories have been completed at regional scale in South Australia and a number are currently underway. These include:
Mount Lofty Ranges
Lower South East
Northern Agricultural Districts
Coorong and Lower Lakes