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Extent and rate of change of protected areas

Key finding

The protected area estate increased by half a million hectares between 2015–2017 and now covers approximately 8.2% of Queensland. Nature refuges form most of the increase.

Protected areas, such as national parks, are critical to the preservation of our environment as they include the protection and management of lands to conserve natural and cultural values.

In Queensland, protected areas are established in classes under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and include State lands managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, such as national parks and conservation parks. A further 2 protected area classes— nature refuges and coordinated conservation areas—are generally privately-owned.

In July 2016 a number of changes made to protected area classes in 2013-2014 were reversed. These include reinstating the conservation park and resources reserve classes that had been replaced with the regional parks, and also reinstating the national park (scientific) protected area class.

Protected areas increased by more than 500,000ha, or 3.5%, between 2015-2017.

Protected areas now cover 8.2% of Queensland.

More information:

Indicator: Rate of change in extent of protected areas

Change in extent of protected areas under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 between the period 2015-2017. Protected areas include National Parks (including Aboriginal Land and Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Lands), Regional Parks, Nature Refuges and Coordinated Conservation. Data is current as at December 2017.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 12 February 2020