The variety of coastal and sub-coastal wetlands on Eyre Peninsula is staggering. Differing soils and geological histories of each sub-region within Eyre Peninsula have created numerous flora and fauna assemblages which are highly adapted to their unique habitats.
Some of the best examples of sub-coastal wetlands on Eyre Peninsula are encompassed within the WildEyre project area, including Lake Hamilton, Round Lake and Lake Newland in the south and Seagull Lake in the northern reaches near Streaky Bay.
Sub-Coastal wetlands are important refuges for many species of birds, especially migratory and resident shorebirds, which shelter on these calmer water bodies when their coastal habitats become too wild and they are unable to forage on the beach and in the intertidal zones.
There are currently 11 wetlands on Eyre Peninsula that have been identified as being of National significance, and of these 11 sites, five are located within the WildEyre project area – Lake Hamilton, Lake Newland, Streaky Bay, Baird Bay and Point Labatt.
Streaky Bay has also been identified as a Ramsar wetland of International significance for migratory shorebirds. Also at Baird Bay, nineteen waterbird species have been recorded, including Fairy Terns (Sterna nereis), Red Knots (Calidris catus), Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola) and Hooded Plovers (Thinornis rubricollis).
Due to the unique nature of sub coastal and saline wetland systems, there is a wide range of important flora and fauna that inhabit these areas, including:
- Thatching Grass Sedgeland (Gahnia filum)
- Beaded Samphire (Tecticornia flabelliformis)
- Yellow Sedge-skipper (Hesperilla flavescens)
- Smallmouth Hardyhead (Atherinsoma microstoma)
- Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminate)
- Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus)
- Red-capped Plover (Charadruis ruficapillus)
Potential threats to sub coastal wetlands
- Historical Land Clearance
- Weed invasion
- Grazing by introduced and non-introduced herbivores
- Groundwater extraction
- Agricultural and industrial pollutants