Pelican Point

A-Class Reserve Number 40891 – Pelican Point – is situated on a small peninsula at the southern end of Matilda Bay in Crawley and forms part of the Swan Estuary Marine Park as well as Bush Forever Site 402 and the Matilda Bay Reserve.

The Noongar name for Pelican Point is Bootanup or Booriarup, meaning place of the Xanthorrhoea, balga or grass tree leaves; and the place was favoured for crabbing and prawning by the Mooro people. The remains of a fish trap can still be seen at Pelican Point.

Pelican Point is a sandy peninsula containing an exposed stretch of beach, low sand dunes and a lagoon. It is vegetated with small shrubs and trees and sedges, and is separated from the rest of the river foreshore by a fence. A large percentage of the existing vegetation has been introduced, with running grasses, Victorian tea-tree and Casuarina glauca causing significant problems, along with other annual and perennial weed species. It is highly exposed to erosion from boat wash, wind and storm surges.

The vegetation both in and surrounding Pelican Point is of the Vasse Vegetation Complex - a complex that in itself is threatened, with only a few small pockets left in the Region. Indeed the site has recently received federal listing for this threatened ecological community

As well as its importance as a staging point for trans-equatorial migratory birds and as habitat for a number of special land birds, Pelican Point is used as a breeding area by the endangered Fairy tern.

Bird-counts have been conducted at Pelican Point on a weekly basis since 1971 and show a concerning decline in some species, particularly of trans-equatorial wading birds, which used to visit in their thousands.

In recent years there has been a considerable increase in the disturbance of birdlife dependent on the Reserve, particularly from water-based recreational activities including kite-surfing, from motorboats and by walkers (often with their dogs) regularly using the beach.

Feral rabbits have also been a problem at Pelican Point, disturbing the soil and eating seedlings planted in restoration projects.

See photo here.