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NSW National Parks set target of zero extinctions of species

NSW National Parks set target of zero extinctions of species
September 8, 2021

NSW National Parks are setting a target of zero extinctions under an historic National Parks plan to declare 221 sites as Assets of Intergenerational Significance (AIS) across 110 national parks aiming to protect 92 endangered and iconic species including Koalas, rock wallabies and the Nightcap Oak.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean notes the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Threatened Species Framework is “about protecting and improving the health of our threatened and iconic species for future generations.”

Minister Matt Kean advised “Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world and today in NSW, on Threatened Species Day, we say no more.

“Globally, one million species face extinction over the coming decades and, as international biodiversity negotiations continue, everyone needs to aim high.

“Just as we have a net zero emissions target, we now also have a target of zero extinctions of species on our National Park estate, and are aiming to improve and stabilise the status of threatened species.”

“But our plan isn’t just about targets – it’s also about action and that’s why I am making declarations for 221 sites to protect 92 endangered and iconic species.

“These AIS declarations are a game changer for threatened species, triggering the strongest possible legal protections – mandating conservation plans, targeted feral animal control, bespoke fire management and monitoring and reporting.”

“We legislated the AIS provisions following the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, which highlighted the need to protect our most important ecological and cultural assets.”

The new AIS have been identified as home to species at risk from feral animals, bushfire and climate change, and follow the first AIS declaration earlier this year to protect the ancient Wollemi Pines.

Key Facts

  • The AIS initiative is a key pillar of the National Parks Threatened Species Framework, which will align NPWS with the global biodiversity agenda and position the agency as a world leader in threatened species conservation.
  • AIS declarations for land containing important threatened species habitat, supported by Conservation Action Plans will ensure NPWS:

- Has identified the most important on-park habitat for threatened species, has up-to-date data on populations in these areas, and can share this information with others, including firefighting agencies and conservation partners

- Has action plans in place to reduce threats and improve the conservation status of threatened species in priority locations

- Is regularly monitoring the health of these populations and publicly reporting outcomes.

  • Other measures being implemented to protect threatened species on national parks include:

- Acquisition of key threatened species habitat for addition to the national park estate

- The establishment of a network of feral predator-free areas to support the return of more than 25 locally extinct species

- Delivery of the largest feral animal control program in national park history

- Establishment of a dedicated ecological risk unit to ensure threatened species are considered in new fire plans

- Rolling out a world class ecological health framework across national parks

  • In total 66 plant species (Including the previously declared Wollemi Pine) and 27 animal species including 13 mammals, four birds, seven frogs and three reptiles
  • 221 AIS sites across 110 national parks totalling 301,843 hectares (3.89% of the National Parks estate
  • 92 new species of plants and animals to attain AIS status, including:

- Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby: seven sites including a highly endangered population in the Warrumbungles, where the population is now less than 10 individuals

- Koala: 15 of the most important koala strongholds on national parks such as Lake Innes, Port Macquarie and Upper Nepean SCA, south west of Sydney.

- Dwarf Mountain Pine: Less than 800 plants remain in the spray zones along cliff faces between Wentworth Falls and Katoomba in the upper Blue Mountains. 

- Nightcap Oak: a small population of around 125 adult plants found only on the Nightcap Range, north of Lismore.

Images from top: Brush Tail Wallaby Warrumbungles; Nightcap Oak; koala; Corroboree frog

Related Articles

6th September 2021 - Platypus returns to The Royal National Park after more than 50 year absence

29th August 2021 - Major expansion begins on Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

6th August 2021 - Diamantina National Park de-fenced to protect native animals

30th July 2021 - Federal Attorney-General directs Parks Australia to challenge charges of damage to sacred site in Kakadu National Park

27th July 2021 - NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service issues reminder that parks are no place for pets

23rd July 2021 - Conservation organisations support University of Newcastle threatened wallaby research

25th June 2021 - Victoria’s central west gains 65,000 hectares off new National Parks and Reserves

25th March 2021 - Koala safety shield trialled to reduce Queensland wildlife road toll

18th January 2021 - NSW national parks receive major infrastructure investment

24th December 2020 - NSW Government returns 15,000 hectares of land returned to traditional owners to form new national park

1st November 2020 - NSW Government doubles goal for expansion of national parks estate

4th October 2020 - Leading environmental groups welcome Queensland Government’s strategy to protect national parks

3rd October 2020 - Queensland Government releases long-term plan to protect and expand national parks

2nd October 2020 - UNSW Law academic shares the implications of new environmental laws for koala survival

24th September 2020 - Bilbies returned to Sturt National Park after 100 year absence

26th August 2020 - The Environmental Defenders Office identifies NSW law failures to protect koalas

1st July 2020 - Inquiry finds koalas on track to extinction in NSW before 2050 without intervention

27th June 2020 - NSW Government makes record land purchase to create new national park

16th February 2020 - Endangered Corroboree Frogs survive bushfires in Victoria

9th January 2020 - Aussie Ark secures wild protected sanctuary for koalas

26th February 2019 - NSW Government to boost Koala population and improve national park access

4th December 2011 - Endangered Rock-wallaby gets more parkland to call home


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