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A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (DIWA)

Search fields

Developer

Australian Government

Latest documentation

2001

Designed for use in

Australia

Ongoing

Yes

Assessment purpose

Prioritisation, Processes and components, Values

Assessment criteria

Socio-cultural, Significance, Physical and chemical, Flora, Fauna, Economic

Method type

Desktop, consultation

Timescale

Medium-long term

Scale

Landscape/Catchment, Site/habitat

Wetland system

Estuarine, Lacustrine, Marine, Palustrine, Riverine

Description and method logic

Method purpose

The purpose of DIWA is to present summary ecological and management information on Australia's important wetlands to assist in all levels of decision making.

Summary

A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (DIWA) is an inventory of important wetland sites. It aims to prevent further loss of important wetland habitat through better understanding of wetland values and location. It was developed by the Australian Government and each of the State and Territory governments. It was first published in 1993 with updated editions in 1996 and 2001. The database and site maps are on line.

Method logic

To be included in DIWA, a wetland must meet at least one of six criteria: biogeographic representativeness, important ecological or hydrological functions, provision of animal habitat during times of vulnerability or adverse conditions, support for more than 1% of national population of any taxa, support for any threatened taxa or communities; and historical or cultural significance.

Criteria groupings of the method

Criteria are based on the Ramsar criteria with adjustments for national rather than international importance and Australian conditions.

Representativeness is based on biogeographic regions.

Data required

Database fields include site location, area, wetland type, criteria for inclusion, site description, physical features, hydrological features, ecological features, significance, notable flora, notable fauna, social and cultural values, land tenure, current land use, disturbances or threats, conservation measures, management authority, compiler and date.

Resources required

Expertise required

A team with expertise in wetland ecology, database management and GIS mapping is required to collate and collect new data and assess new sites.

Materials required

GIS, database, field survey equipment

Method outputs

Outputs

  • Database of important sites available at Australian Government's web site
  • GIS mapping of important sites
  • Environment Australia (2001) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Third Edition. Environment Australia. Canberra.
  • Characteristics of Important Wetlands in Queensland (1999)

Uses

  • To identify sites and the wetland values in the local area, particularly in regard to regional natural resource management
  • To identify sites of importance for particular taxa, including threatened and migratory species
  • To assist in making decisions on how wetland resources will be utilised
  • To provide a substantial basis for future national wetlands inventory.

Criteria by category

    Physical and chemical

    • Functioning
      • Ecological role
      • Hydrological role
    • Refuge
      • Adverse conditions e.g. drought refuge
      • Vulnerable stage in life cycle

    Economic

    • Ecosystem services
      • Cultural services
      • Provisioning services
      • Regulating services
      • Supporting services

    Socio-cultural

    • Cultural
      • Cultural significance
      • Historical significance

    Significance

    • Rarity
      • Nationally rare or endangered taxa or communities
    • Representativeness
      • Biogeographic regions
    • Significant population
      • 1% of national population of any taxa

    Flora

    • Ecosystem components
      • Vegetation

    Fauna

    • Ecosystem compnents
      • Fauna species

Review

Recommended user

Method to intended to be used by assessors with eological, flora, GIS and analysis experience.

Wetland managers, policy makers, regulators, NRM groups and landholders would find the output information useful.

Strengths

  • State-wide information base
  • Accessible through the Internet
  • Significant coverage of important sites, although not comprehensive
  • Substantial knowledge base of wetlands, and dependent flora and fauna.

Limitations

  • Information and assessment was not collected consistently across Queensland
  • Database may be considered biased as some areas were more intensively assessed than others
  • The process for identification of wetlands was not systematically conducted across Queensland and consequently many wetlands that would meet the criteria were not included
  • The mapping methodologies used were variable (as wetland mapping data did not exist at the time DIWA was compiled) including both aggregation mapping and the use of point data were used to describe where wetlands might exist but could not be accurately mapped
  • DIWA was compiled over several decades and information contained within the database may be out of date or the values may no longer exist

Case studies

Characteristics of Important Wetlands in Queensland

Blackman, JG, Perry, TW, Ford, GI, Craven, SA, Gardiner, SJ & De Lai, RJ (1999), Characteristics of Important Wetlands in Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Links


References

  1. Environment Australia (2001), A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia, 3rd Edition.. [online], Environment Australia, Canberra. Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/water/wetlands/publications/directory-important-wetlands-australia-third-edition.
  2. Australian Government. Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. [online] Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/water/wetlands/australian-wetlands-database/directory-important-wetlands.
  3. Blackman, JG, Perry, TW, Ford, GI, Craven, SA, Gardiner, SJ & De Lai, RJ (1999), Characteristics of Important Wetlands in Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Last updated: 7 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2019) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (DIWA), WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 May 2021. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/resources/tools/assessment-search-tool/a-directory-of-important-wetlands-in-australia-diwa/

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science