Ramsar wetland sites

There are two Ramsar sites in the Northern Territory (NT), Cobourg Peninsula and Kakadu National Park.

To read more about the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands go to the Australian Government website.

Cobourg Peninsula

Cobourg Peninsula is 163km north-east of Darwin and is protected within the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park

It is the only site in Australia where leatherback turtles regularly come ashore to lay eggs. 

The southern coast of the peninsula is made up of mangrove and mudflat areas that support a large number of shorebirds or waders. 

The northern side has coral and rocky reefs, rocky cliffs, beaches,  embayments and extensive coastal dune systems backed by lagoons.

These areas support coral-dependent ecosystems, intertidal communities, coastal dolphins, sea turtles, crocodiles, seabirds and waterbirds. 

The terrestrial ecosystems are dominated by eucalyptus woodlands and ephemeral streams. 

There are also several freshwater lakes and swamps and monsoonal vine-thickets. 

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is jointly managed by Indigenous Traditional Owners and Parks Australia. 

The most important feature of the Kakadu National Park Ramsar site is that it includes nearly all of the catchment of the very large Alligator rivers system and the top of the Mary River catchment. 

It has a wide range of tropical wetland systems including upland swamps, rainforests and tributaries in western Arnhem Land that support a variety of endemic plant and animal species. 

The middle reaches of the rivers with their associated billabongs and riparian communities, support rainforest vegetation, freshwater turtles, crocodiles, waterbird feeding and nesting, barramundi and other fish. 

They also support as well as diverse aquatic plant and invertebrate communities.

The floodplains support huge numbers of waterbirds, shorebirds and seabirds, and nesting crocodiles.

Huge estuaries are important for threatened sharks and sawfish, dolphins and crocodiles.

The coastal systems have diverse mangrove communities and sandy beaches important for sea turtle nesting and mudflat systems that support migratory shorebirds and other intertidal communities.

Last updated: 27 June 2017