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Extent and rate of change of protected areas

Key Finding

The protected area estate increased by more than 40,971 hectares between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2020, and now covers about 8.24% of Queensland.

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 3 protected area classes — nature refuges, special wildlife reserves and coordinated conservation areas — are generally privately-owned.

In 2019, the Queensland Government became the first state in Australia to create Special Wildlife Reserves – a new category of protected areas that provide national park level protection for private land of exceptional natural and cultural value. Special Wildlife Reserves will be established by a voluntary conservation agreement between the Queensland Government and landholders. The protection of the area will mean that incompatible land uses, like mining and forestry, will not be permitted.

Protected areas increased by more than 40,971 hectares, or 0.29%, between January 2018 and June 2020.

Protected areas now cover 8.24% of Queensland.

Within Queensland’s protected areas, both cultural and environmental values are protected. The Department of Environment and Science is committed to partnering with First Nations peoples to ensure those cultural values and heritage is better understood and protected.

More information:

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets

  • GOAL 14: LIFE BELOW WATER
  • GOAL 15: LIFE ON LAND

Cumulated number of each protected area

  • Chart
  • Table
Protected AreasNational parkNational park (Aboriginal land)National park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal land)National park (Torres Strait Islander land)National park (recovery)National park (scientific)Conservation park / regional park (general)Resources reserve / regional park (resource use area)Nature refugeCoordinated conservation area
20082682178199443072
20092773198212463512
20102855219219433762
201128011209224434112
201227913209225444402
201327220209226444702
201428021226444922
201528321228524972
2016274269229514992
2017274289230515042
2018274289230505162
2019275289234475202
2020275289234475342

Data as at 30 June for years 2018–2020; previous years are based on calendar.

Cumulated extent of all protected areas

  • Chart
  • Table
YearTenuredNon-tenured
20088,304,358730,041
20098,492,416915,320
20108,547,9302,084,808
20118,662,7442,916,343
20128,722,5073,357,806
20138,721,8283,643,174
20149,079,4313,997,273
20159,663,5964,007,703
20169,751,2373,805,741
20179,765,7804,449,676
20189,768,6764,421,005
20199,786,9514,457,649
20209,791,2094,476,461

Data as at 30 June for years 2018–2020; previous years are based on calendar.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Metadata

Change in extent of protected areas under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 between the period 2017–2020. Protected areas include National Parks (including Aboriginal Land and Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Lands), Conservation Parks, Nature Refuges and Coordinated Conservation Areas. Data is current as at 30 June 2020.