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Coongie Lakes Ramsar site

Coordinates: 27°27'S 140°00'E.
Location: near the town of Innamincka, in the far northeast of South Australia.

The Coongie Lakes Ramsar site is a mosaic of floodplain and dunefield areas approximately 1.9 million hectares in size, located on the Cooper Creek floodplain. The site meets seven of the nine Ramsar listing criteria.

Cooper Creek is recognised as one of the largest unregulated river catchments in the world. Part of the area is protected by the Coongie Lakes National Park, which sits inside the Innamincka Regional Reserve. The rest of the site is held as a pastoral lease area that is state-owned and managed by DEWNR.

The site is an extensive system of freshwater wetlands, including lakes, interdune corridors, channels, floodplains and swamps. Water for these systems most commonly comes from flooding in Queensland that sends water down the Cooper Creek via the Coongie Lakes, a cluster of five semi-permanent lakes. When wet, these incredibly productive habitats can support huge amounts of breeding birds.

Waterfowl have been known to breed in their hundreds of thousands, among them the vulnerable freckled duck (Stictonetta naevosa).

The wetland also contains an endemic species of freshwater turtle, known as the Cooper Creek turtle (Emydura macquarii emotti).

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