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Queensland has become the first state in Australia to create Special Wildlife Reserves – a new category of protected areas – to preserve more habitat and increase our protected area estate.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said landowners and organisations who want to voluntarily look after Queensland’s biodiversity are now able to invest in this new class of protected area.

“Special Wildlife Reserves will provide national park level protection for private land of exceptional natural and cultural value,” Ms Enoch said.

“This is another way for landholders to contribute to conserving Queensland’s unique biodiversity, without the need to hand their land over to the State.

“These vital reforms – the first of their kind in Australia – are ensuring ecologically important areas are protected now, and into the future.”

Minister Enoch said Special Wildlife Reserves, which will be established by a voluntary agreement between the Queensland Government and landholders, will help ensure that more habitat is protected for our wildlife, including koalas and other threatened species.

“These Reserves will have the same protections as our National Parks, meaning incompatible land uses like mining and forestry, will not be permitted in them,” she said.

What is a special wildlife reserve?

A special wildlife reserve is a voluntary, binding and perpetual class of protected area, for application on privately managed land in Queensland. It can apply to freehold and leasehold tenures, with ownership and management responsibilities remaining unaffected.

‘Private protected areas’ are internationally recognised as an important part of protected area systems, and in Queensland are formally represented by special wildlife reserves and nature refuges. Protected areas are the most significant and visible means by which Queenslanders can seek to safeguard our internationally recognised and iconic biological diversity. More info click here.

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