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© 2018 Moulting Lagoon Eco Tours. 


Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve (Ramsar site) is a large, internationally recognised wetland. It is an important breeding ground for various waterfowl and wetland birds, also a destination for migratory birds. As such, it is an excellent place for bird-watching and has significant wetland flora and fauna, as well as being an area of extraordinary beauty. The name Moulting Lagoon comes from black swans (Cygnus atratus) shedding their flight feathers. These can often be seen piled up along the shoreline. Facts and figures are summarised below (Reference Tasmania Parks & Wildlife, http://www.parks.tas.gov.au).

  • Geology. Moulting Lagoon and Great Oyster Bay are composed of a down faulted block (graben) which developed following the separation of Antarctica and Australia that started approximately 70 million years ago.

  • Birds & mammals. 95 species of birds and up to 15,000 swans live at Moulting Lagoon. Black swans are the most obvious and numerous birds on the lagoon. Historically, as much as 80% of swan breeding in Tasmania occurred here (Hemsley, 1973). No mammals are known to be dependent on the lagoon although wallabies, Tasmanian devils and brush possums are regularly seen in the immediate vicinity.

  • Fish. A study by Last (1983) recorded 59 species of fish occurring in or near the estuary.

  • Plants. 25 plant species that are listed as threatened in Tasmania have been recorded at the reserve.

  • Ecosystem. Moutling Lagoon Game Reserve is an important fish nursery and complex ecosystem with inflows of fresh and saline waters, aquatic vegetation and an abundance of bird life. Therefore, preservation and respect for the environment is extremely important.

  • Climate. Swansea rainfall data from 1884 to 1989 exhibit a mean annual rainfall of 611 mm, with an average of 119 rain days per year.

  • Culture. At the time of European settlement, Moulting Lagoon was part of the territory occupied by the Oyster Bay Aboriginal Tribe (the Paredarerme language group). The territory encompassed much of the Tasmanian east coast and extended north from the Derwent estuary to the Fingal Valley and west to the Midlands. The tribe comprised at least 15 bands with a total population of 600–800 people (Brown, 1991).  Wildlife around Moulting Lagoon, particularly black swan eggs, were an important food source to the Aborigines of the Oyster Bay tribal group.


Why is it so important to protect, respect and love Moulting Lagoon?

Wetlands are among the earth’s most important life support systems. Since European settlement, over half of Australia’s wetlands have been destroyed. In 1982 Moulting Lagoon was listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention because it houses vulnerable or endangered animal and plant communities and is crucial in maintaining biological diversity.

The Ramsar Convention aims to protect the worldwide loss of wetlands, and to conserve the areas that remain. Australia was the first nation to join the convention, which now has approximately 100 members. The group takes its name from the small Iranian town of Ramsar, where the first Convention on Wetlands of International Importance was held in 1971.   

It is for above reasons that is important that we PROTECT, RESPECT and LOVE Moulting Lagoon and live in harmony with nature.