Wetland anomaly irks

Bird rescue volunteer Craig Lester. Picture: Jon Hewson        d441892
Bird rescue volunteer Craig Lester. Picture: Jon Hewson        d441892

And the Department of Parks and Wildlife can do nothing about it, according to local bird rescue volunteer Craig Lester.

The area is registered with the Heritage Council of WA by the City of Mandurah as a category one wetland and a wetland of national importance.

�It is the most significant feeding area for water birds in the south of WA and a major feeding area for endangered migratory birds, swans and the critically endangered fairy terns ,�� Mr Lester said.

�It is used by many species all year round and there can be hundreds of birds feeding and resting in the area at any given time.�

But Mr Lester said the most important area where the birds feed is not considered part of the reserve.

�The wet part of the wetlands is not included in the reserve and is under the control of the Department of Transport,�� he said. �It gets even more confusing when you consider that motor boats are banned from the area.

�Kayaking clubs have asked their members and associates to stay out of the wetland.

�But five-knot speed restrictions only apply to motorised vessels.

�Sailboarders are using the wetlands for speed trials up to 45 knots (83km/h) and appear not to be breaking the law.�

The Department of Transport has convened a meeting to discuss Mr Lester�s concern.

According to a Department of Parks and Wildlife spokesman, the area does not fall within that managed by the department as a nature reserve but rather within an area forming part of the broader Peel Inlet.

The spokesman said it was important to note a range of activities were permitted on the Ramsar-listed site, including water sports like windsurfing.

He said the department continued to monitor activities in and around the nature reserve to ensure they were not impacting on wildlife.

The City of Mandurah encouraged the community to be respectful of the environment when undertaking recreational pursuits.