Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands are designated under the Ramsar Convention as Wetlands of International Importance for conserving biological diversity. The principle of a Ramsar listed wetland is to promote conservation with the aim of preventing changes to their ecological character.
Combined, Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands meet the Ramsar criteria in relation to species, ecological communities and waterbirds under the following five of the nine Ramsar criteria:
Criterion 2: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities – Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands support more than 1% of the estimated south-eastern Australian population of the globally vulnerable Australasian Bittern.
Criterion 3: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographical region – Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands maintain a high diversity of species of waterbirds within the Riverina bioregion; the number of species listed under international treaties or as threatened species and the abundances of some bird species are amongst the highest recorded in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Criterion 4: A wetland should be considered internationally important is it supports plants and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions – Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands is a significant drought refuge, as the basins retain water year-round. Furthermore, Fivebough is an important site for migratory waterbirds; twenty-two species of waterbird have been recorded breeding at Fivebough. The site is also an important feeding habitat for four species of Egret during their breeding season and as a flocking area for the endangered Brolga.
Criterion 5: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds – Fivebough & Tuckerbil regularly record populations of over this threshold, with Glossy Ibis and Whiskered Tern counts the highest for Australia.
Criterion 6: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird – Fivebough & Tuckerbil Wetlands has recorded the Glossy Ibis, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern, Australasian Bittern and Brolga at numbers estimated to represent greater than 1% of their population.