Shoalwater and Corio Bays Area

Corio Bay

Shoalwater and Corio Bays Area

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    202,023 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    22°33'S 150°29'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Bounded by approximately 330 kilometres of east Queensland coastline, the Site supports diverse, extensive and relatively undisturbed wetland systems including subtidal beds, shallow marine waters, coral reefs, intertidal marshes, and also forests, peatlands, freshwater marshes and pools, sinkholes and springs. It represents a climatic overlap zone with an unusual mix of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate species. There are approximately 908 native plants and the native animals include 445 fish, 11 frogs, 60 reptiles, 265 birds, and 42 species of mammals. The Site is home to an abundance of shorebirds and migratory waterbirds, with over 23,000 individuals recorded on several occasions. The seagrass beds, at over 13,000 hectares, are the most extensive on Australia’s east coast and provide important feeding grounds for globally threatened dugongs and marine turtles as well as fish species which are important for commercial and recreational purposes. Diverse and abundant mangrove communities support nursery areas for fish, and roosting and sheltering sites for shorebirds. The extensive freshwater peat swamps in the Site are rare within the bioregion and in Australia. The Site is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, a World Heritage Site. Human activities include military training, tourism, commercial and recreational fishing; the Site is also of significant cultural value for the Aboriginal Darumbai people.

Administrative region: 
Livingston Shire, Queensland

  • Global international designation: 
    • World Heritage site
  • National legal designation: 
    • Declared Fish Habitat Area - Corio Bay Fish Habitat Area (FHA-067)
    • Dugong Protection Area - Shoalwater Bay and Port Clinton Dugong Sanctuaries
    • National Protected Area - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
    • State Protected Area (QLD) - Byfield National Park
    • State Protected Area (QLD) - Byfield State Forest
    • State Protected Area (QLD) - Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park
    • State Protected Area (QLD) - Shoalwater Bay Regional Park
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