The Ramsar Convention is for the Protection of Wetlands. It was formulated in 1971 when it was recognised the world’s remaining wetlands were fast disappearing under an ever-increasing demand for agricultural land and industrial sites. The Ramsar wetlands in NZ are major strong holds of a number of native species. For instance, the fernbird/ mata is an endemic species whose range and abundance has reduced dramatically along with its habitat. Native freshwater fish, including several whitebait species, eels and native waterfowl also rely on the wetlands for survival.