University of Tasmania
149908 - Public perceptions of wetlands and preferences for on-site visitor facilities and communication media.pdf (1.67 MB)

Public perceptions of wetlands and preferences for on-site visitor facilities and communication media: A case study from an Australian Ramsar wetland

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 04:23 authored by Wang, XY, Vishnu PrahaladVishnu Prahalad, James KirkpatrickJames Kirkpatrick
There is wide recognition, championed by the Ramsar Convention, of the need to increase the public appreciation of wetlands and their conservation by providing meaningful experiences for visitors to Ramsar sites. In a case study of an Australian Ramsar site on the 50th anniversary of the treaty, we investigate the public's awareness of this internationally significant wetland and their understanding of wetland biota and ecosystem services. To inform future communication, education, participation and awareness (CEPA), we also investigate public preferences for particular wetland-related knowledge, on-site activities, facilities and communication media. Less than half of the 326 survey respondents expressed some familiarity with wetlands. Notably, they were not aware of the existence of the Ramsar site, despite having driven past and being within close proximity to the wetland at the time of surveying. Non-extractive and non-commodified recreational activities such as trail walking and photography were preferred over extractive uses such as fishing and duck hunting and activities such as boat cruises and guided tours. There was a high demand for on-site facilities such as walking tracks and viewing platforms and for communication through web-based sources. Visitation to further the goals of Ramsar CEPA could be encouraged through the resourcing of locally appropriate infrastructure, promotion of activities and better communication.


Publication title

Marine and Freshwater Research






School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


CSIRO Publishing

Place of publication

150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066

Rights statement

Journal compilation copyright 2022 CSIRO Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmentally sustainable commercial services and tourism not elsewhere classified; Environmental education and awareness; Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified