Coorong Lakes

Meningie, South Australia (Ngarrindjeri Country)




Land protected
Bird species protected
Threatened species protected

Coorong Lakes is located south of Meningie in South Australia, at the south-east edge of the extensive Coorong Lakes system. The reserve is owned and managed by Cassinia Environmental as a conservation reserve in partnership with the Ngarrindjeri people. Coorong Lakes compliments the important wetland systems of Lake Alexandrina, Lake Albert, and the Coorong Lagoons. It is here that the mighty Murray River empties into the ocean.

The Coorong is one of Australia’s most important wetland areas, designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1985. Wilderlands is proud to be adding greater protection to this important area by offering the Coorong Lakes project.

The diversity of ecosystems at Coorong Lakes makes a significant contribution to the importance of this area. Rising above low-lying saline wetland communities of saltbush and paperbark shrublands are sandy dune systems of mallee and heathy woodlands, host to a rich diversity of native plants and animals, including the rare Cleland’s Beard-heath (Leucopogon clelandii) and the rare and elusive Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans).

The Wilderlands project at Coorong Lakes provides permanent protection and on-going management to enhance the native wildlife, complementing adjoining and nearby reserves including Mount Sandy Reserve.

Threatened Species

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The Challenges

  • Maintaining a safe refuge for all species, particularly visiting migratory birds that use the saline lakes for feeding, including the rare Elegant Parrot and many migratory waders;
  • Ensuring rare and threatened plants maintain their health and populations are able to expand, including the Cleland’s Beard-heath and the Metallic Sun-orchid;
  • Enhancing ecosystem function and improving genetic health of all species;
  • Maintaining (and increasing in areas where needed) the structural diversity of habitat, providing better habitat for more species across the heathland and woodland communities;
  • Controlling threats to native biodiversity; namely foxes, rabbits, African Boxthorn and Bridal Creeper;
  • Ensuring adjoining farm livestock are unable to enter the reserve;
  • Preserving fragile topsoil and mitigating soil erosion;
  • Preserving the natural flows and drainage of all wetland systems;

What we're doing

  • Buffering the remnant patches of vegetation through revegetation of native species in areas of the land that have been formerly cleared from agriculture;
  • Native seed collection and nursery propagation for supplementary planting of rare plants, including the Cleland’s Beard-heath;
  • Connecting remnant patches to enable movement of animals, especially small mammals, birds and reptiles, thus improving genetic health of currently isolated populations;
  • Retaining all standing and fallen trees and logs, preserving habitat (shelter and nesting) for an array of animals;
  • Investigating and undertaking appropriate fire regimes across the heathlands, including fire intensity and intervals to improve ecosystem function;
  • Partnering with the Ngarrindjeri people of the Coorong, sharing knowledge of land stewardship and co-managing the land to improve its health;
  • Utilising integrated pest management in the control of foxes, rabbits, and noxious weeds that threaten environmental and adjoining farming values;
  • Vigilant monitoring of new and emerging weed species and controlling to prevent spread and lasting infestations;
  • Coordinating with partners and neighbouring landholders in the control of foxes and rabbits.
  • Restricting vehicular traffic across the land to management and assessment purposes only, thus minimising tracks and preserving a soil crust that protects the land from erosion and weed incursion.
This map highlights one or more zones of the total project. We create multiple zones in each project to most effectively allocate Biological Diversity Units.
This project is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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