The Great Sandy Strait Ramsar Management Advisory Group (RMAG) aims to acknowledge the GSS as an outstanding example of a sand passage estuary in a relatively undisturbed state and implement actions to monitor, mitigate and prevent both current and emerging threats to its ecological character.
Facilitated by the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG), the RMAG has met twice in October 2019 and February 2020 with meetings to focus on the three main pillars of Ramsar Wetlands:
- Management of the wetland sites
- Wise use of wetlands
- Partnerships and agreements
The advisory group will also focus on a new wetland health indicator monitoring tool and its application in the GSS Ramsar site, with the aim of introducing the tool to other Australian wetlands.
The GSS Ramsar site meets eight out of the nine criteria for a Ramsar declaration, but must provide updated data maintain this status. The Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS) currently needs to be updated. Updating the RIS requires input (e.g. threats, actions, knowledge gaps) from the RMAG members, and scientific specialists for each criterion.
The RMAG members are currently working together to address information gaps about many of the rare species recorded in the Ramsar Wetland including the Illidge’s ant blue butterfly, water mouse, dugong, fresh and saltwater fish species, acid frogs, and endangered species including marine turtles, migratory shorebirds, sharks, rays, coral and swamp orchid.
Don and Lesley Bradley from LMRLCCG are attending RMAG meetings and are happy to provide updates to FINIA members and opportunities for FINIA members to provide input to the process.
Article submitted by Don and Lesley Bradley, Lower Mary River Land and Catchment Care Group