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Many interesting projects have been undertaken since the establishment of the Queensland Wetlands Program (QWP) in 2003. The Program has worked independently, and in collaboration with various partners, to produce a wealth of information on a wide range of topics.

The reports listed in the table below can be sorted by year, title and type of publication.

Pictures worth a thousand words: A guide to pictorial conceptual modelling

Quick facts

conducted by the QWP have been integral to the development of national tools and methodologies including the Interim Australian National Aquatic Ecosystem (ANAE) Classification Scheme, delineation guidelines, High Ecological Value Aquatic Ecosystem (HEVAE) Framework and the Framework for the Assessment of River and Wetland Health (FARWH).
Year of publication Title of publication Type of publication Description
2023 Reef 2050 Wetlands Strategy: a Strategy to manage wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef and its catchments (Reef 2050 Wetlands Strategy) Strategy framework

The Reef 2050 Strategy supports the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan and the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan, setting out a framework for the improved management of the wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

This strategy includes five themes:

  • Improving wetlands information for decision making and action
  • Wetland planning
  • On-ground activities to protect, manage, rehabilitate and restore wetlands.
  • Engagement, education, communication and capacity building
  • Monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement

The development of an updated Reef 2050 Wetlands Strategy incorporated the outcomes of the independent evaluation of the of the 2016-21 Strategy (superseded)

2023 Queensland Wetland Definition Guideline Methodology This document provides guidance on the range of wetland definitions used in Queensland, describes the QWP Wetland Definition (Definition), and provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the Definition. This guideline is intended to assist government agencies, landowners, natural resource managers and others wanting to identify whether feature is a wetland for decision making and planning purposes. This guideline will be useful for other activities relating to wetlands, including their delineation, mapping, classification, assessment, and management. This guideline applies to all wetland systems and types in Queensland but may be somewhat restrictive when applied to subterranean systems.
2023 Queensland Wetland Delineation and Mapping Guideline Methodology This document provides information on how to apply the QWP Wetland Definition (the Definition) at a property scale to delineate and map the boundary of a wetland including defining its position, shape, and size. This guideline assists government agencies, land managers, natural resource managers, scientists, surveyors, consultants, and others wanting to delineate and map the boundaries of an identified wetland feature for decision-making and planning purposes. In some cases, requirements for development assessment may advise or stipulate the use of this and other guidelines for regulatory purposes. This document is a companion technical guideline accompanying the Queensland Wetlands Definition Guideline. .
2023 Queensland Wetland Classification Scheme Methodology The classification of wetlands takes an attribute-based approach, identifying and describing physical, biological and chemical attributes of wetlands. The scheme is adaptable and flexible and is based on and complements other attribute-based classification schemes used within Queensland. This document is designed to support consistent, state-wide baseline classification of lacustrine, palustrine, riverine, and some intertidal wetlands above mean sea level across Queensland.
2023 The Interim Queensland River Classification Scheme Methodology The Interim Queensland River Classification Scheme provides a standardised approach to describing and categorising the biological, physical and chemical characteristics (attributes) of rivers.
2020 Queensland Waterhole Classification Scheme Methodology The Queensland Waterhole Classification Scheme was developed to provide a framework for classifying and typing Queensland waterholes. The scheme uses a biophysical framework of physical, environmental and climatic attributes.
2020 State of the Environment Report 2020 for Queensland Report The 2020 State of the Environment report is now available on the Department of Science and Heritage website. The Queensland Government produces a State of Environment Report every 2 years. It has been published in a web-based format, providing an interactive experience for users to explore spatial data, text, tables, graphs and charts. Published through the Queensland Government Open Data Portal, the data is presented in themes: Biodiversity, Heritage, Pollution, Climate and Human Settlements and Great Barrier Reef.
2018 De Moleyns Lagoon - stakeholder collaboration leads to successful environmental outcomes Case Study De Moleyns Lagoon is an environmentally and culturally important wetland area situated within a floodplain dominated by agriculture. It is home to a large variety of vegetation communities, including the Endangered Regional Ecosystem Melaleuca viridiflora woodland. Local stakeholders have worked together for many years to restore and transform the site to an area which is now a valued natural habitat.
2018 Calliungal Cattle Station Case Study - Managing cattle and wetlands where three rivers meet on the Calliungal floodplain. Case Study

This case study illustrates how Calliungal Cattle Station's managers have tackled the challenges of floodplain grazing and applied recent technological innovations to achieve sustainable production—while retaining healthy wetlands and biodiversity. It provides information useful to landholders on land subject to major floods, in Queensland.


Queensland Intertidal and Subtidal Ecosystem Classification Scheme Methodology

The Queensland Intertidal and Subtidal Ecosystem Classification Scheme uses the biological, physical and chemical characteristics of the water column and sea floor to classify intertidal and subtidal ecosystems. The scheme develops a common understanding and language of classification to improve communication and lead to better management outcomes. It provides a structured framework and understanding available for mapping.

Various Plant guides Field guide

User friendly illustrated field guide that offers comprehensive information on the wetland plants of the area. 

Plant selection for WSUD: WSUD design guidelines for Mackay

Wetland Plants of the Wet Tropics

Wetland plants of the Townsville—Burdekinfloodplain

2016 Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments Management Strategy 2016–21 (PDF, 5.9 MB) (Superseded) Strategy framework

Note this Strategy has been replaced with the Reef 2050 Wetlands Strategy: a Strategy to manage wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef and its catchments (Reef 2050 Wetlands Strategy).

The strategy supported the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan and the Reef Water Quality Improvement Plan 2013, setting out a framework for the improved management of the wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef catchments. It built on the achievements of the Queensland Wetlands Program and recognised wetlands as vital to the health of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem and its catchments.

This strategy included five themes: improved information; planning; on-ground management; communication and education; and evaluation, review and improvement.

2016 Integrating high valuegrazing and wetland managment on Torilla Plain Case Study Managers of the five grazing properties that cover Torilla Plain, adjoining Broad Sound in CentralQueensland, have developed productive resilient enterprises for breeding and fattening ofcattle. Wise use of natural pastures on their marine plain is the key.
2015-2016 Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Handbooks Report

The groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) handbooks provide consolidated information on where and how groundwater moves through a catchment and where groundwater may interact with ecosystems.

  • Handbook for groundwater dependent ecosystems in South East Queensland
  • Groundwater dependent ecosystem mapping: Comet, Dawson and Mackenzie catchments
  • Lake Eyre Basin Springs Assessment Project Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Mapping Report
2016 Plant selection for WSUD: WSUD design guidelines for Mackay Guideline

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is a reasonably new approach to urban stormwater quality management.

It is important that local plant selection is given appropriate consideration as a matter of priority.

These Technical Design Guidelines puts forward plant recommendations chosen by a team of horticultural experts. It also contains practical design drawings illustrating how they apply.

2016 Waterhole refuge mapping and persistence analysis in the Lower Balonne and Barwon–Darling rivers Report

To inform the management of river systems consistent with the Murray–Darling Basin Plan, there is a need to understand how long waterholes can persist and how the spatial distribution of persistent waterholes changes as a drought progresses. The waterholes project was commissioned by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority to improve understanding of the location and persistence of waterholes in the Lower Balonne and Barwon–Darling regions of the northern Basin as part of the Northern Basin review. The project was undertaken through the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (Queensland) and the Department of Primary Industries, Water (NSW).

2015 A landscape hazard assessment for wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment Fact sheet

This report details the approach taken to assess hazards to lacustrine and palustrine wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments in Queensland. It provides a landscape scale assessment of hazard (as opposed to fully quantified 'risk') arising from land-use, and is conducted as a desktop GIS analysis.

In particular the assessment aims to:

  • characterise human induced pressures arising from land-use
  • enable the attribution of mapped wetlands with a modelled level of hazard.
2015 Wetland naming protocol fact sheet Fact sheet

The Queensland Government encourages the community to suggest new names for geographic features in Queensland that have yet to be officially named.

The place naming process includes consideration of naming issues, provision of recommendations to the relevant Minister under the Place Names Act 1994, publication of notices and maintenance of the gazetteer or register of place names.


Western Cape York groundwater study: 2. Groundwater dependent ecosystems investigation supporting the assessment of groundwater sustainability in the Great Artesian Basin of Cape York and

Attachment 1: Spatial analysis technical description and maps of potential groundwater dependent ecosystems


Investigates the risks to groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) which may potentially have reliance upon the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) across the Cape York Peninsula.

GDEs support important biodiversity values and they are recognised as particularly important on Cape York Peninsula, where access to groundwater provides a water source to ecosystems during the long dry season. Groundwater on Cape York Peninsula is present in both local surface aquifers, and the larger regional water table of the Great Artesian Basin.

2014 Managing water for the farm and environment with Jeppesen Farming Company Case Study Tony and Mandy Jeppesen, along with sons Ben and Sam, own and manage a cane farm in the Whitsunday region of Queensland. Over the past decade, the Jeppesens have implemented changes across the farm to improve water management.
2014 Beef cattle: Managing frontage country and wetlands Case Study David and Dianne Hood have been managing the Kirkton property in the Burdekin catchment since 2004 to improve beef production and enhance local wetlands. The property was in poor condition when purchased, partly due to drought, with degraded pastures dominated by weeds. They have been investing in new infrastructure to better manage the herd, allowing wet season spelling and weed control. This has led to improved land condition and better management of frontage country, with benefits to adjoining wetlands.
2014 Queensland Wetland Program (Program) Phase 2 Strategic Management Audit


The Queensland Wetlands Program (Program) has been running for nearly 10 years and has delivered more than 70 projects. There have been three phases of the Program: Phase 1 (2003-2008), the Transitional Phase (2009-2010) and Phase 2 (2010-2013).

An evaluation of Phase 1 was undertaken in 2009 by a non-government agency, while for Phase 2, a smaller management audit has been undertaken by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) independently of the Program.

2013 On-farm wetland demonstration site–Lower Burdekin and video Case study Demonstrates the rehabilitation of a wetland on a cane farming property.

Watch the video to follow the rehabilitation process.

2013 De Moleyns Lagoon rehabilitation and monitoring project Case study

Demonstrates wetland rehabilitation and monitoring outcomes in agricultural production areas in the Mackay-Whitsunday region.

2013 Moreton Bay - celebrating 20 years as a wetland of international importance Fact sheet

To mark the 20th anniversary of the listing of Moreton Bay under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, (Ramsar Convention), achievements over the past 20 years have been documented. This list highlights some of the incredible effort that has gone into protecting and managing the Moreton Bay Ramsar site.

2013 Waterbird and shorebird surveys of the Bowling Green Bay Ramsar site Report

Beginning in 2011 this study consisted of four surveys of the coastal high tide roosts for shorebirds, and additional aerial and ground surveys of nearby wetlands, north of Ayr. The aim of the study was to provide a detailed assessment of the distribution and abundance of shorebirds and waterbirds in the Bowling Green Bay Ramsar Site.

2013 Pictures worth a thousand words: A guide to pictorial conceptual modelling Guideline This report provides a guideline on how to create conceptual models.
2013 Wetland Buffer Case Study: Lake Broadwater Case study This case study demonstrates how the Queensland Wetland Program Buffer Planning Guideline has been used to develop a buffer for Lake Broadwater in the Condamine-Balonne catchment of the Murray-Darling basin.
2013 Establishing a rotational grazing system in box-mulga country, Wallam Creek Case study

Boosting the capacity to optimise ground cover and grazing business outcomes by subdividing paddocks into many smaller units, each served by off-stream watering points. Environmental benefits include reduced soil erosion and improved condition of the riparian zone.

2013 Managing water and grazing in Warrego floodplain and mulga country Case study Complementary strategies to manage water and animals in grazing enterprise. By increasing control of flowing water and livestock habits, benefits have occurred for sustainable production, biodiversity and the condition of riverine and other wetland systems.

2013 Guidelines and template for preparing a wetland management plan Guideline

These guidelines have been produced for use by landholders engaged in grazing and dryland cropping in two inland river basins of Queensland: the Queensland Murray-Darling and the Bulloo. Most of the material is applicable much more widely across inland regions of Queensland and Australia generally.

It outlines a step-by-step process for preparing a wetland management plan and a template (model) is provided allowing landholders and other wetland managers to easily insert the necessary information into an appropriate format.

2012 Walking the landscape—A whole-of-system framework for understanding and mapping environmental processes and values Guideline

The 'Walking the landscape' framework integrates existing data with expert knowledge to develop a whole-of-system map linked to conceptual models showing how the environment functions. The method addresses one of the major criticisms of broadscale mapping—the lack of integration of knowledge from local experts into datasets used by decision makers.

2012 Framework for evaluating aquatic ecosystem connectivity Guideline

The connectivity framework describes a process for systematically and transparently working through the connectivity of relevant functions of an aquatic ecosystem, and provides a way of understanding and applying connectivity at any level of spatial scale for any management outcome.

The framework was developed through expert workshops involving policy makers and scientists from a wide range of disciplines from state, local and federal government bodies and universities.

2015 Queensland Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Mapping and Classification Method Methodology The method behind the development of baseline mapping and classification of groundwater dependent ecosystems in Queensland.
2011 Identification of High Conservation Value Aquatic Ecosystems (HCVAE) in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin through targeted collection of wetland inventory data across the northern basin—Technical report Report The project was undertaken as part of the Queensland Wetlands Program – Phase 2. The project collected and collated data for 62 wetlands. The wetland sites were predominantly freshwater non-riverine wetlands with five riverine wetlands sampled opportunistically. The data was used to identify and classify areas of high conservation value.
2011 Queensland Wetland Buffer Planning Guideline Guideline

Provides the steps for designing a wetland buffer and identifies its benefits and future management needs.

Use this guideline in palustrine, lacustrine, estuarine and marine wetland systems. The concepts behind the method can also be used for buffers around riverine and artificial wetlands. Using the guideline requires expert knowledge of wetlands.

An important tool to support users who want to meet the requirements of the State Planning Policy Protecting Wetlands of a High Ecological Significance in Great Barrier Reef Catchments. However it does not over-ride legislative requirements.

2011 Grazing for Healthy Coastal Wetlands:Guidelines for managing coastal wetlands in grazing systems Guideline

Developed to provide graziers, landowners and extension officers with information on managing grazing in and around Queensland's coastal wetlands to maintain healthy coastal wetlands and productive grazing enterprises.

It provides practical advice on how grazing and associated land management practices can be implemented to support the long-term health of coastal wetlands whilst maintaining production.

2011 Indicators in Reduction in Soils Report

Reports on the Indicator of Reduction in Soils (IRIS) method for identifying wetlands and demonstrates how to use the method on wetlands in Queensland. Field indicators of ephemeral wetlands can be hard to find in dry times. Wetland soils—identified by reducing conditions—become a major indicator of existence and extent.

The IRIS method uses synthetic iron oxides to indicate anaerobic conditions in soils to indicate the presence of wetlands. Wetland managers and decision makers may use the IRIS method as an additional line of evidence to identify wetland extent.

2011 Hydro-climate tool user guide User guide Developed to help users use the Hydro-climate tool—interactive tool that relates stream discharge, rainfall and run-off to the Queensland wetland mapping images.
2011 Hydrological Characterisation for Wetlands and Wetland Imagery Methodology

Describes the method behind the development of the associated interactive tool that relates zonal discharge and rainfall to the imagery used as a base for the Queensland wetland mapping. The tool provides a historical context to how the maximum extent of the wetlands and the water regime ratings were determined.

The information may also be used for the evaluation of the circumstances that lead to wetland filling and the changes in wetland filling processes for different wetland types. This is important for wetland assessment and management of wetlands at a subregional scale.

2010-2011 Conceptual model case study series Case study Vibrant, easy-to-understand illustrated guides to selected individual wetlands in Queensland. They offer site-specific, science in the form of conceptual models and text to support and inform management and cover a wide variety of wetland issues and types. The technique used for developing the conceptual models can be implemented by local wetland managers anywhere in Queensland.

Instream structure inventory program

Reports and GIS

The Inventory of Instream Structures program demonstrates the impacts of structures which threaten the health of local fish populations that support important recreational and commercial fisheries and associated wetland functions. The guidelines and report feature a Response Action Plan (RAP) that nominates specific recommendations actions to protect wetland values.

Please note: the findings of the above reports are current at time of publication. Given the dynamic nature of the environment, the status of instream structures and identified issues will require review before implementing management recommendations.

2010 Queensland Wetland Definition and Delineation Guideline Part A and Part B Guideline

Comprises two parts.

Part A is a guide to existing wetland definitions and how to apply the Queensland Wetlands Program wetland definition.

Part B is the delineation and mapping guideline.

2010 Refugial Waterholes Project Research Highlights Report Waterhole refugia play a vital role in many river systems, allowing aquatic taxa to survive periods when there is no flow and surface water availability is limited. An understanding of the role and function of refugial waterholes is necessary to best manage these habitats, and ensure that risk to waterhole-dwelling biota is minimised. In order to maintain viable regional populations of biota, refugia must be able to support both the resistance and resilience of local populations. This requires the persistence of good-quality waterhole habitats for the duration of dry spells, as well as connectivity between them during flows. A number of investigations on the themes of persistence, quality and connectivity, to provide knowledge for decision-making.
2009 Wetland Management Handbook: Farm Management Systems guidelines for managing wetlands in intensive agriculture Guideline

Contains information and guidelines to help producers and extension officers protect the functions of Queensland’s wetlands in intensive agricultural production systems. The Handbook follows the Farm Management System approach to managing agricultural businesses.

The Handbook provides for all aspects of best practice wetlands management in intensive agricultural operations and covers such topics as nutrient, erosion and sediment management; spray-drift management; management for fisheries values; and weed and pest animal management.  It also contains a component on constructed wetlands design.

2009 Queensland Wetlands Program evaluation Report

An independent evaluation of the first phase of the Queensland Wetlands Program (2003-2009) in 2009.


The evaluation, conducted by Halcrow Pacific Pty Ltd and Institute of Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, was to determine the Program’s effectiveness in meeting its aim and project objectives.

The Program aim is to support projects that will result in long-term benefits to the sustainable use, management, conservation and protection of Queensland wetlands.

The evaluation looked at the Program’s five focus areas:

  • improving the wetland information base
  • wetland planning arrangements
  • on-ground activities to protect and rehabilitate wetlands
  • education and capacity building
  • communication, monitoring, evaluation and reporting and review.
2008 Wetland Rehabilitation Guidelines: for the Great Barrier Reef catchment Guideline

Developed to assist wetland managers including landholders, local councils and Natural Resource Management bodies to undertake effective wetland rehabilitation. The guidelines draw on existing research and experience including works undertaken in the Queensland.

Produced under the Great Barrier Reef Queensland Wetlands Program, Wetland Care Australia was commissioned, by the Australian Government.

2008 The Soil Indicators of Queensland Wetlands: State-wide Assessment and Methodology Methodology Details and discusses findings of a statewide assessment of wetland soil indicators conducted by the Department of Natural Resources and Water during 2007 and 2008 under the Queensland Wetlands Program (QWP). The definition developed through the QWP is based on the Ramsar definition and includes a component on wetland soil features. To be useful at a finer scale, this definition needs a scientifically robust method for applying wetland soil indicators. This study concludes that the formation of soil indicators in Queensland is influenced greatly by climatic region (tropical/equatorial, subtropical, semiarid and arid), wetland system (palustrine, lacustrine and estuarine) and by inundation frequency (periodically or commonly wet).
2008 Soil Indicators of Queensland Wetlands:Field Guide Field guide Developed to assist in the field identification of wetland soil indicators in Queensland, and is intended to be read and used in conjunction with the Soil Indicators of Queensland Wetlands: State-wide Assessment and Methodology.
2007 Understanding Ecological and Biophysical Processes in Queensland’s Wetlands: Literature Review and Gap Analysis Report

To help reduce the challenges of accessing wetland science the Queensland Wetlands Program with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines developed a report that focuses on:

  • information relating to causal relationships between wetlands and Great Barrier Reef water quality
  • research on how wetland ecosystems function
  • research on the role wetlands play in landscape processes—in particular the improvement of downstream water quality
  • research assessing the ‘health’ of wetlands in an ecological context; and the implications of research for the protection, management and restoration of degraded wetlands.
2007 Soil Indicators of Queensland Wetlands Phase 1: Literature Review and Case Studies Report and case studies Soils are potentially powerful indicators of wetland dynamics because of the specific morphological features that develop in wet environments. This review of national and international scientific literature evaluates the ability of indicators often found within soils to reliably predict wetland boundaries. The report highlights two case studies of wetlands within Southern and Central Queensland to test if predictable relationships exist between soil indicators identified within the literature and wetland status for Queensland wetland soils.
2007 Scoping Study for Monitoring Wetland Extent and Condition Report Review of relevant national and international literature on wetland condition and extent indicators and methodology as they relate to monitoring. It provides a scoping study to help determine appropriate resource condition indicators and methodologies for wetland monitoring for different wetland types, including a set of national indicators. The Report identifies existing monitoring programs and highlights areas where monitoring is deficient for Inventory Database requirements (temporal and spatial). It also identifies resource condition parameters for inclusion in the Wetlands Inventory Database, criteria for resource condition monitoring, makes recommendations for developing conceptual understandings of wetland types, and consolidates links to other Queensland Wetlands Program projects.
2007 Census of Regional Body Wetland Activities Report

In 2007, an independent review was undertaken to analyse how wetland activities aligned between regional bodies and the objectives of the QWP.

It contains detailed regional profiles for each of the 14 natural resource management regions of Queensland with each profile identifying key achievements, wetland activities and future directions.

The review concluded that many of the regional body wetland activities were contributing to the QWP objectives and were complemented and supported by the products from the QWP.

2007 Great Barrier Reef Coastal Wetlands Protection Programme—Pilot Program 2005-2007—Final Report Report

The Report evaluates the GBR Coastal Wetland Protection Programme including a description of achievements against objectives, an evaluation of the success of the pilot programme, and the appropriateness of approaches used.

2005 Sustainable Land Management and Wetlands Conservation on Freehold and Leasehold Land in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Report The purpose of this study was to provide recommendations to the Australian Government on an appropriate mix of incentives to increase sustainable land management practices on freehold and leasehold land, particularly with reference to wetland areas in the Great Barrier Reef catchment NRM regions. The study consists of three separate but linked investigations
Various Wetland management case studies Case study 22 case studies based on the Great Barrier Reef Coastal Wetlands Protection Program Pilot Program commissioned by the Australian Government to deliver on-ground actions for the sustainable management of 22 priority wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.
Various Conceptual model case study series Case studies

Conceptual model case studies for selected wetlands in Queensland. Site-specific information and science on a wide variety of wetland issues. Informs and supports management. The technique used for developing the conceptual models can be implemented by local wetland managers anywhere in Queensland.

Various Environmental value reports online Fact sheet

This online portal is used for querying information on specific environmental values, by location.

Report types:

  • matters of state environmental significance
  • regional ecosystems
  • terrestrial biodiversity and aquatic conservation values.

Last updated: 28 September 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2021) Reports, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation