Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Wetland characteristics and waterbird use of wetlands in south-western Australia

SA Halse, MR Williams, RP Jaensch and JAK Lane

Wildlife Research 20(1) 103 - 125
Published: 1993


The presence or absence of 61 waterbird species on 95 wetlands in south-western Australia was related to six wetland characteristics: salinity, emergent vegetation, water depth, pH, phosphorus level and wetland size. More species were associated with salinity and vegetation than with other wetland characteristics. There were more positive associations with brackish than with fresh or saline wetlands and few species occurred in hypersaline wetlands. Trees or shrubs and sedges were the vegetation with which most species were associated; few species were recorded on completely open wetlands or those with only samphire. The 95 wetlands were classified into five groups on the basis of waterbird use. All wetland characteristics differed between groups but larger differences occurred in salinity, vegetation and water depth. The wetland group that supported most species also supported the highest numbers of waterbirds and most breeding species.


© CSIRO 1993

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