Swan Bay is of considerable importance for birds, as confirmed by the high number of 190 species using the area ... The Bay holds large numbers (at least 10000 during the year) of a diverse range of wader species, supports approximately 20% of the total population of the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot and is a significant area for terns, especially the Fairy Tern which nests in the Bay and the visiting, and endangered, Little Tern. The Bay is also significant for wildfowl, spoonbills and herons, and crakes and rails, and is a particularly important refuge for waterbirds in times of drought or during the duck hunting season.
Critical areas of bird habitat are the inter-tidal flats and sea-grass beds, salt marshes, snady and shelly beaches, islands and points, and the Swan Island Golf Course. Sand Island and the inter-tidal flats to the west are particularly important as roosting and feeding areas for waders and terns (including the endangered Little Tern) and as a nesting site for the Fairy Tern.
The significance of Swan Bay as a waterbird and wetland site has been recognised by the establishment of the Harold Holt Marine Reserve within the Bay and the proclamation of the Marine Reserve as a Wetland of International Importance under the RAMSAR Convention. The whold of Swan Bay, including the islands within the Bay, Swan Island and Edwards Point have been included on the Register of the National Estate.
(Reference: Barter, M., Campbell, J. & Lane, B. 1988, Swan Bay: Conservation of Birds, Royal Australiasian Ornithologists Union, Moonee Ponds)
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