Threatened Wetlands

Documentary – Swan Coastal Plain Wetlands

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

If only we could understand the Swan Coastal Plain, a biogeographic region that was (and maybe still is) found harsh and unwelcoming. With unique landforms, a Mediterranean climate and a diverse ecosystem that responses to the seasonable variabilities. This combination has resulted in the Swan Coastal Plain wetlands that support many threatened and endangered species.” Sense of place (George Seddon, 1972)

The Threats

The Swan Coastal Plain wetlands around Perth in Western Australia are one the most diverse and unique ecosystems on the planet. Since the arrival of Europeans settlers an estimated 80% have been lost due to population growth and development. Remaining wetlands are increasingly threatened by rapid population growth, groundwater abstraction and a drying climate. These critically impacted ecosystems provide important beneficial services including groundwater recharge, natural filtration of nutrients, pollutants and sediments, recreation, protection from groundwater flooding, and habitat for many species. Some of these species include the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo, the critically endangered Western Swamp tortoise, several types of Banksia, and Quenda. If the current rate of loss continues, it is expected that almost all of these remaining wetlands will be lost within the next 10–20 years. Urgent action is needed.


Degraded stream by drain infrastructure


Relatively pristine wetland