Yawuru Nagulagun / Roebuck Bay Marine Park
NEWSFLASH – Nagulagun Roebuck Bay Marine Park Management Plan open for comment – please follow this link to put in a submissions
The Yawuru people are the Traditional Owners of Naguluagun / Roebuck Bay and secured an historic native title claim in 2008. Yawuru are now working withthe Department of Parks and Wildlife to develop a draft management plan for a marine park in Roebuck Bay. There is a great opportunity to recognise the full suite of cultural and environmental values in the Bay.
Roebuck Bay is no less than eight times the size of Sydney Harbour. Spring tides (i.e. maximum range) expose almost half the Bay, or about 190km2 of mudflats. These extraordinary mudflats are recognised as some of the most productive in the world, supporting an extroardinarily rich benthic invertebrate community. These mudflat-dwelling critters in turn support support one of the largest aggregations of shorebirds found anywhere in the southern hemisphere. Much of the Bay is Ramsar-listed, largely due to its international importance for migratory birds.The values of the Bay extend beyond birds however - the soft coastal mudflats, creeks, estuaries and mangrove forests of the Bay support a number of marine species of high conservation significance. These include dugong and a number of turtle and sawfish species. Humpback whales are also sometimes seen in the Bay on their northern migration to calving grounds further along the Kimberley coast.
There are three dolphin species known to inhabit the Bay, including Australia’s only endemic dolphin, the Australian snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni). This is the first new dolphin species to be recognised worldwide in over 50 years (Beasley et al. 2005). Other dolphin species are in decline throughout much of their range in coastal Asia due to a range of threats. Remarkably, the largest known population of this Australian species is found in Roebuck Bay – 154 individuals recorded to date. The extensive mangrove communities lining its shores act as an important nursery area for prawns, mudcrabs and fish.For more information on Nagulagun Roebuck bay: Roebuck Bay: International Marine Wonderland