Facts & Figures

A documentary about the Wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain in Perth, to promote conservation and public awareness of a critically endangered ecosystem”


BIODIVERSITY

The wetlands are located in the biodiverse region in south-west Western Australia with more than 2100 recorded species. Many species are endemic to Southwest Western Australia and cannot be found anywhere else on the continent. 10% of the greater Perth Metropolitan Area can be regarded as wetland. The wetland supports many waterbirds and its surrounding riparian vegetation supports terrestrial birds, significant reptiles, mammals, and other vertebrate species [32]. The lakes’ high biodiversity makes it an important regional conservation area. 85% of the wetlands have been lost since European settlement and only 20% of the remaining wetlands are ecological ‘healthy’.

 

GROUNDWATER DEPLETION

In the early 1970s reports warned for the unknown impact that groundwater abstraction could have on the wetlands. Over the years the population increased while rainfall got scarcer. Before the water supply depended on surface water basins, but that soon became too unreliable. Groundwater abstraction increased stepwise and with further decrease of rainfall, the groundwater table decreased significantly. This resulted in wetlands drying and becoming more dependent on ever decreasing rainfall.