, Volume 552, Issue 1, pp 87–97

Freshwater Reserves in Australia: Directions and Challenges for the Development of a Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative System of Protected Areas


DOI: 10.1007/s10750-005-1507-4

Cite this article as:
Fitzsimons, J.A. & Robertson, H.A. Hydrobiologia (2005) 552: 87. doi:10.1007/s10750-005-1507-4


The establishment of a system of protected areas that samples all ecosystems, including freshwater environments, in a comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) manner is regarded as a cornerstone for the conservation of biodiversity. There have been few quantitative assessments of the comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness of freshwater reserves in Australia. This paper reviews and quantifies the effect of classification of freshwater ecosystems for conservation planning, the importance of reservation status and protection measures for developing a CAR reserve system, and aspects of reserve design for freshwater ecosystems. We propose a strategic and iterative process that incorporates these measures to assist in the efficient and effective development of freshwater reserve systems worldwide. However, the provision of suitable water regimes for freshwater reserves presents further ecological and political challenges, and even adequate reservation of freshwater ecosystems may not conserve constituent biodiversity without effective management.


reservation statusreserve designwetlandsecosystem classificationconservationfreshwater protected areas

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biogeographical Planning & Research Group, School of Ecology & EnvironmentDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Riverland Local Action Planning CommitteesBerriAustralia