Carrum Wetlands

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
This IBA consists of a number of isolated wetlands that formerly made up the once extensive Carrum Wetlands alongside the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay, south of Melbourne. The significant remaining fragments of the original wetlands are the ephemeral wetlands of Edithvale, Seaford, Peninsula Aeronautical Remote Control Society (PARCS), Braeside and Woodland Estate Wetlands, Boundary Road Swamp and the Eastern Treatment Plant. They are all considered part of the same IBA because some key bird species, notably Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, move between the wetlands, depending on their state of flood. The Eastern Treatment Plant is a working water treatment plant serving south and east Melbourne, and consists of a series of artificial wetland ponds of varying depth, and a modified lake. Edithvale, Seaford and Braeside are ephemeral shallow lakes fringed by reeds and sedges. PARCS Wetland and Boundary Road Swamp are grazed and lack tall fringing vegetation, whereas Woodland Estate Wetlands are a series of deeper permanent wetlands. All are managed partly for bird conservation and recreation in this urban environment, and Edithvale and Seaford are part of the Port Phillip Bay Ramsar site.

Key biodiversity
The critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot has been recorded once. The endangered Swift Parrot has been recorded in three of the last six years. Australian Painted Snipe have been recorded on three occasions. Australian Little Bittern are occasionally recorded and bred in 2008. Black-fronted Dotterels have once exceeded the 1% threshold with a count of 176 birds in 2001. Flame Robins are winter visitors to the wetlands and surrounding paddocks (Melbourne Water 2008), with numbers estimated to vary from 20-60 individuals.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Implement the Ramsar Management Plan for Edithvale and Seaford Wetlands and Management Plans for the other sites. Manage water flows into Seaford Wetlands, including investigation of pumping excess water from the Eastern Treatment Works.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Nest boxes for ducks are being used primarily by Indian Mynas. An observation hide and information display at Edithvale encourages public use and appreciation of the wetlands and their birds.

Protected areas
Braeside Park

Land ownership
State Government owned. Melbourne Water manage all important wetland habitat except for Braeside Park, which is managed by Parks Victoria.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Carrum Wetlands. Downloaded from on 11/07/2020.