Forrestdale and Thomsons Lakes Ramsar Site

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Official nameForrestdale and Thomsons Lakes
Designated7 June 1990
Reference no.481 [1]

The Forrestdale and Thomsons Lakes Ramsar Site comprises two separate nature reserves, totalling 754 ha (1,860 acres) in area, protecting two shallow fresh to brackish, seasonal lakes in a suburban and agricultural landscape in south-western Western Australia. It lies in the Swan Coastal Plain bioregion and is used mainly for birdwatching and walking. The site is recognised as being of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, under which it was designated Ramsar Site 481 on 7 June 1990. [2]

Nature reserve Protected area for flora, fauna or features of geological interest

A nature reserve may also be known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge or sanctuary, biosphere reserve (bioreserve), natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area. It is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna, or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for purposes of conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities, and research institutions. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park. Various jurisdictions may use other terminology, such as ecological protection area or private protected area in legislation and in reserves' official names.

Brackish water Water with salinity between freshwater and seawater

Brackish water is water having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater with fresh water together, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak". Certain human activities can produce brackish water, in particular civil engineering projects such as dikes and the flooding of coastal marshland to produce brackish water pools for freshwater prawn farming. Brackish water is also the primary waste product of the salinity gradient power process. Because brackish water is hostile to the growth of most terrestrial plant species, without appropriate management it is damaging to the environment.

Western Australia State in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.



Forrestdale Lake and Thomsons Lake lie 10 km (6.2 mi) apart within the southern Perth metropolitan area. They are similar in size and shape, being oval, about 1.6 km (0.99 mi) long by 1.3 km (0.81 mi) wide, with large central areas of open water when full and with shorelines vegetated with concentric fringes of the introduced bulrush Typha orientalis , sedges, paperbarks and other plants tolerant of seasonal waterlogging. Both lakes usually dry out in summer, though Thomsons lake may occasionally retain water throughout the year. Both reserves contain areas of native woodland. They are the best remaining examples of brackish, seasonal lakes with extensive fringing sedgeland typical of the Swan Coastal Plain. Regionally they form a major breeding, migration stop-over and semi-permanent drought refuge area for shorebirds and other waterbirds. [3]

Forrestdale Lake Nature Reserve is a lake nature reserve around Forrestdale Lake in the City of Armadale, Western Australia, approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the central business district of Perth, the state capital, and on the southern fringes of the Perth metropolitan area. It lies immediately south of the suburb of Forrestdale, and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south-east of Jandakot Airport. It is a still largely natural wetland, with some adjoining native vegetation, surrounded by land developed for housing and agriculture, that regularly supports large numbers of shorebirds and other waterbirds.

Thomsons Lake Nature Reserve is a lake nature reserve around Thomsons Lake in the City of Cockburn, Western Australia, approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the central business district of Perth, the state capital, and on the southern fringes of the Perth metropolitan area. It is in the suburb of Beeliar, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south-west of Jandakot Airport. It is a still largely natural wetland, with adjoining native vegetation, surrounded by land developed for housing and agriculture, that regularly supports large numbers of shorebirds and other waterbirds.

Perth City in Western Australia

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is named after the city of Perth, Scotland and is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with a population of 2.06 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. The first areas settled were on the Swan River at Guildford, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both later founded downriver.

Ramsar criteria satisfied by the site are that it: [3]


Conservation management of the site focuses on:

Groundwater water located beneath the ground surface

Groundwater is the water present beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock become completely saturated with water is called the water table. Groundwater is recharged from the surface; it may discharge from the surface naturally at springs and seeps, and can form oases or wetlands. Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, also called groundwater hydrology.

<i>Typha orientalis</i> species of plant

Typha orientalis, commonly known as bulrush, bullrush, cumbungi in Australia, or raupō in New Zealand, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the genus Typha. It can be found in Australia, New Zealand including the Chatham Islands and the Kermadec Islands), Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, China and the Russian Far East.

Chironomidae family of insects

The Chironomidae comprise a family of nematoceran flies with a global distribution. They are closely related to the Ceratopogonidae, Simuliidae, and Thaumaleidae. Many species superficially resemble mosquitoes, but they lack the wing scales and elongated mouthparts of the Culicidae.

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  1. "Forrestdale and Thomsons Lakes". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. Annotated Ramsar List.
  3. 1 2 3 Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands: Forrestdale and Thomsons Lakes.


Coordinates: 32°09′S115°52′E / 32.150°S 115.867°E / -32.150; 115.867

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.