Two Great Ramsar Wetlands Project

The Two Great Ramsar Wetlands project is a five-year project that aims to bring key agencies, land managers and community groups together to reduce the threats to the Port Phillip and Western Port Ramsar sites through landscape-scale actions including pest animal and weed control, revegetation, habitat augmentation and community engagement and education.

The project is support by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

  • Project period: 2018-23
  • Location: Port Phillip Bay and Western Port
  • Partners: Nature Glenelg Trust, Parks Victoria, French Island Landcare

Year two review 

Key achievements of the project throughout 2019-20 included the successful delivery of feral cat cage-trapping on French Island, resulting in the removal of 46 feral cats. Further to this, the integration of a new data collection platform significantly improved the way records are managed.  

Nature Glenelg Trust completed an extensive amount of research to understand the hydrological regime and develop restoration options to improve the condition of sixty-hectares of dry marsh at The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve. This important piece of work will lead to continued discussions with stakeholders, land managers and the Australian Government to implement the recommendations outlined in the plan.  

On Quail Island, remote camera monitoring, along with field observations, found no detections of feral pig activity. Further monitoring into 2020-21 will hope to validate the eradication of feral pigs.   

Evidence of fairy-tern breeding and successful fledgling at Observation Point is a positive sign that the feral cat trapping program is progressing towards meeting the outcomes of this project. Fairy-terns have not bred at this location for approximately ten-years, indicating a reduction in feral cat predation (in the absence of red foxes). 

Year one review

2018-19 was the first year of the project. A comprehensive INFFER (Investment Framework for Environmental Resources) assessment involving extensive stakeholder collaboration was completed to assist with prioritising investment into the future. The assessment resulted in a list of priority sites and activities that will be incorporated into the remaining four-years of the project.

Parks Victoria and French Island Landcare successfully trapped and culled 26 feral cats on French Island in 2018-19, contributing to the long-term goal of eradication. French Island Landcare have implemented a responsible pet ownership program, involving domestic cat sterilisation, GPS collaring, a domestic cat database and free micro-chipping.

Nature Glenelg Trust established a monitoring program to assist with a hydrological study of The Spit Wildlife Reserve. This study will help to inform a restoration strategy for 60 hectares of primary waterbird and shorebird habitat along Port Phillip Bay near Point Wilson.

Parks Victoria also completed pest animal control and monitoring of Black rats on Reef Island. Rangers have been trialling new control techniques to improve effectiveness and reduce non-target interactions.

The focus for 2019-20 is developing new partnerships with key stakeholders to implement INFFER assessment recommendations and expanding pest animal control efforts.