Australia's National Reserve System (NRS) is a network of more than 10,000 Commonwealth plus state and territory protected areas which, in combination, on a national scale, protect more than 137 million hectares (340×106 acres) (greater than 17% of the continent's) unique biodiversity and most significant ecological landscapes for future generations. The aim of the NRS is protect the diversity of all native landscapes, flora and fauna across Australia through strategic habitat protection.
As part of the National Reserve System Cooperative Program, the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia framework was developed as a planning tool to assist in identifying areas of priority.
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Sample of Signage, within a Wet Tropics portion of National Reserve System
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The move by the Australian Government to establish this National Reserve System was triggered by the international Convention on Biological Diversity, as part of the nation's commitment to fulfilling the objectives of that convention. In particular, after signing and ratifying the convention in 1992 the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating, announced 
The establishment of a comprehensive system of protected areas is vital if we are to retain our status as a region of megadiversity. Besides being ecologically viable these areas must represent the full range of ecosystems. The Government is committed to the development of a national comprehensive system of parks and reserves. This will be achieved in cooperation with States and Territories.
Within the first 4 years (1992–1996) $11.2 million was spent establishing the system and, with the cooperation and agreement of the Australian States and territories 5,600 properties (covering almost 60 million hectares (150×106 acres)) were included within the system and a new Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program was initiated to include some of the most valuable and rare ecological landscapes on Indigenous Australian owned lands. 17 Indigenous Protected Area were declared by 2003 which significantly added to the NRS.
Within the next 10 years (1996–2007), with further substantial investment (through a National Heritage Trust) an additional 30 million hectares (74×106 acres) were added to the National Reserve System, two thirds of which were Indigenous Protected Areas. During this time, starting in 1999, Tasmania took a lead investing in partnerships to create protected areas on other private lands; and by 2005 all the states and territories re-affirmed their joint commitment to what was to be described as a national 'flagship in biodiversity conservation'.
The National Reserve System continues to be an Australian Government priority, with continuing funding "target[ing] areas with low levels of protection, including the sub-tropical savanna from Cape York to the Kimberley, the Mitchell grass country of north-west Queensland and arid central Australia; continuing investment in indigenous protected areas; plus a new National Reserve System strategy identifying priorities and actions to be taken over the next 20 years.
The NRS has been praised by the WWF Australia as a successful, cost-effective conservation measure. CSIRO modelling has concluded that the NRS will be an important conservation tool to combat the effects of climate change in Australia on the environment.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is an Australian independent, non-profit organisation, working to conserve threatened wildlife and ecosystems in Australia. This is principally achieved through the acquisition of extensive areas of land on which to establish conservation reserves (called 'sanctuaries') or by entering into partnerships with government and Indigenous groups to manage landscapes for effective conservation. AWC currently manage 28 sanctuaries for wildlife conservation that cover over 4.8 million hectares of land across Australia.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy operate under a unique model for conservation, using science (predominantly biodiversity survey work and targeted research) to inform on-ground land management, such as control of fire, feral animals and weeds. There is a strong focus across the organiation at placing time and resources in the field for wildlife conservation: consequently, about 80% of all staff are based in the field, and a minimum of 84% of all expenditure goes to field-based conservation programs.
Most funding comes from private support in the form of tax-deductible donations from the public as well as some government grants for particular purposes, such as from the Australian Government’s National Reserve System Program.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy was founded in response to Australia's mammal extinction crisis. Over a third of the world's extinctions from the last 400 years have been from Australia, and Australia has already lost 31 species of mammal. Many of these extinctions were entirely preventable with effective conservation measures in place. The 2016 State of the Environment report suggests that while Australia is incredibly rich in it's biodiversity, despite legislation in at all state and federal levels, it continues to suffer from unprecedented decline. In response, AWC protect a diverse array of habitats across a large network of sanctuaries, to protect 88% of Australia's bird species, 72% of mammals and 54% of Australia's frog and reptile species.
In June 2007 AWC announced the establishment of a corporate partnership with Optus.As of May 2019, the most recent sanctuary is Bullo River which covers over 160, 000 hectares in the north-west corner of Northern Territory, near the mouth of teh Victoria River. This is a unique partnership between a working pastoral property and a conservation sanctuary to generate outcomes for both wildlife and cattle. The landscape here is typical of the Eastern Kimberley, dominated by Keep River sandstone formations with rocky gorges, lush riverside vegetation and expansive tropical savannah woodland. Inventory biodiversity surveys have already identified several important species of rare and threatened wildlife including the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae) and Wyulda or Scaly-tailed Possum (Wyulda squamicaudata).Bon Bon Reserve
Bon Bon Reserve is a 2,164-square-kilometre (836-square-mile) private protected area located in the Australian state of South Australia, west of the town of Roxby Downs in the Woomera Prohibited Area. It is owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia (BHA). It forms an important link of protected land between Yellabinna Regional Reserve and Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park.Boolcoomatta Reserve
Boolcoomatta Reserve is a 630 km2 private protected area in eastern South Australia, 463 km north-east of Adelaide and 100 km west of Broken Hill. It is owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia (BHA).Esperance Plains
Esperance Plains, also known as Eyre Botanical District, is a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia on the south coast between the Avon Wheatbelt and Hampton regions, and bordered to the north by the Mallee region. It is a plain punctuated by granite and quartz outcrops and ranges, with a semi-arid Mediterranean climate and vegetation consisting mostly of mallee-heath and proteaceous scrub. About half of the region has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Recognised as a bioregion under the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), it was first defined by John Stanley Beard in 1980.Finke (biogeographic region)
Finke, an interim Australian bioregion, comprises 7,267,416 hectares (17,958,180 acres), and is part of two state/territories of Australia: the Northern Territory and South Australia.The bioregion has the code FIN. There are four subregions.Fish River Station
Fish River Station is a protected area approximately 50 km (31 mi) south of Daly River and 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.
It is bounded to the north and the east by the Daly River, to the west by the Wingate Mountains and to the south by Dorisvale and Florina Stations.The property was acquired in 2011 by the Indigenous Land Corporation in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, Pew Environmental Group and the Australian Government’s National Reserve System for A$13 million. The property was sold to the group by prominent Melbourne barrister Alan Myers.The property encompasses lengths of the Daly River floodplain containing many billabongs and surrounded by pockets of rainforest, rugged ranges and fringed by savannah woodland.The traditional owners of the area are the Wagiman, Labarganyan, Malak Malak and Kamu peoples. In 2011 after the property was acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation the management was handed back to the traditional owners.Gawler Ranges National Park
Gawler Ranges National Park is a 1,633 km2 (631 sq mi) protected area lying 350 km (217 mi) north-west of Adelaide in the northern Eyre Peninsula of South Australia. It is known for its spectacular rock formations.Indigenous Protected Area
An Indigenous Protected Area is a class of protected area used in Australia formed by agreement with Indigenous Australians, declared by Indigenous Australians, and formally recognised by the Australian Government as being part of its National Reserve System.By agreeing to establish Indigenous Protected Areas, Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders have (over the decade 1997-2007) contributed two thirds of all new additions to Australia's National Reserve System.Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia
The Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) is a biogeographic regionalisation of Australia developed by the Australian Government's Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. It was developed for use as a planning tool, for example for the establishment of a National Reserve System.
Within the broadest scale, Australia is a major part of the Australasia biogeographic realm, as developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Based on this system, the world is also split into 14 terrestrial habitats of which eight are shared by Australia. The Australian land mass is divided into 89 bioregions and 419 subregions. Each region is a land area made up of a group of interacting ecosystems that are repeated in similar form across the landscape.
The most recent version is IBRA7, developed during 2012, which replaced IBRA6.1.Lawari Conservation Park
Lawari Conservation Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia in the gazetted locality of Hindmarsh Island located at the eastern end of the island of the same name.It was proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 on 21 March 2017 in respect to a number of parcels of land in the cadastral unit of the Hundred of Nangkita at the eastern end of Hindmarsh Island. The conservation park consists of “two former grazing properties purchased with assistance” from the Australian government's National Reserve System in 2001 originally for the purpose of extending the Coorong National Park onto Hindmarsh Island. As of April 2017, it covered an area of 1.058 square kilometres (0.408 sq mi).
An announcement made on 19 April 2017 by Ian Hunter, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment & Conservation in the South Australian government described the conservation park as follows: South Australia has proclaimed a new 1058-hectare conservation park at the eastern end of Hindmarsh Island, within an area of wetlands that support a large number of threatened fish and water bird species. … The Lawari Conservation Park supports three native fauna species of national conservation significance, and a further 30 fauna and one flora species at the state level, including the Far Eastern Curlew and Cape Barren Goose.
The conservation park is located within the boundaries of the Ramsar site known as the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland and shares a boundary with the Coorong National Park on its south-eastern side.The conservation park is classified as an IUCN Category III protected area.Mallee (biogeographic region)
Mallee, also known as Roe Botanical District, is a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia. Located between the Esperance Plains, Avon Wheatbelt and Coolgardie regions, it has a low, gently undulating topography, a semi-arid mediterranean climate, and extensive Eucalyptus mallee vegetation. About half of the region has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Recognised as a region under the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), it was first defined by John Stanley Beard in 1980.Mitchell Grass Downs
The Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD) is an IBRA biogeographic region, located in the Northern Territory and Queensland, which comprises an area of 33,468,761 hectares (82,703,110 acres) with eight subregions.
See Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for AustraliaNature reserve (Australia)
Nature reserve (Australia) is the title of a type of protected area used in the Australian jurisdictions of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia. The term “nature reserve” is defined by state and territory statutes rather than by a single national statute. As of 2014, 1767 (or 17%) out of a total of 10339 protected areas listed within the Australian National Reserve System were “nature reserves.”Pine Creek (biogeographic region)
The Pine Creek biogeographic region, an interim Australian bioregion, (abbreviation PCK) is located in the Northern Territory, and comprises 2,851,777 hectares (7,046,890 acres).The bioregion draws its name from Pine Creek, and has the code PCK. There is just one subregion (PCK01, identical to the region.Protected areas of Australia
Protected areas of Australia include Commonwealth and off-shore protected areas managed by the Australian government, as well as protected areas within each of the six states of Australia and two self-governing territories, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, which are managed by the eight state and territory governments.
Commonwealth and off-shore protected areas in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, the Christmas Island Territory, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Territory, the Norfolk Island Territory and the Australian Antarctic Territory are managed by Director of National Parks, an agency within the Department of the Environment and Energy, with the exception of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a separate body within the department.
Protected areas cover 895,288 km2 (345,673 sq mi) of Australia's land area, or about 11.5% of the total land area. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest level of protection at nearly 55% of its territory, followed by Tasmania with nearly 40% and South Australia with 25%. Lowest level of protection is in Queensland and the Northern Territory with less than 6%. Of all protected areas, two-thirds are considered strictly protected (IUCN categories I to IV), and the rest is mostly managed resources protected area (IUCN category VI). Over 80% of the protected area in Australia is publicly owned and managed by the Australian government or state and territory governments. The second largest component of protected areas are the Indigenous Protected Areas while only 0.3% are privately owned.Stony Plains
Stony Plains, an interim Australian bioregion, comprises 13,166,372 hectares (32,534,810 acres), and is part of two state/territories of Australia: the Northern Territory and South Australia.The bioregion has the code STP. There are seven subregions.Victoria Bonaparte
The Victoria Bonaparte, an interim Australian bioregion, is located in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, comprising 7,301,242 hectares (18,041,760 acres).The bioregion draws its name from the Victoria River and the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf.Warren (biogeographic region)
Warren, also known as Karri Forest Region and the Jarrah-Karri forest and shrublands ecoregion, is a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia. Located in the southwest corner of Western Australia between Cape Naturaliste and Albany, it is bordered to the north and east by the Jarrah Forest region. Its defining characteristic is an extensive tall forest of Eucalyptus diversicolor (karri). This occurs on dissected, hilly ground, with a moderately wet climate. Karri is a valuable timber and much of the karri forest has been logged over, but less than a third has been cleared for agriculture. Recognised as a region under the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), and as a terrestrial ecoregion by the World Wide Fund for Nature, it was first defined by Ludwig Diels in 1906.Warul Kawa Indigenous Protected Area
Warul Kawa Indigenous Protected Area (also known as Deliverance Island) is a small island that is part of Australia's National Reserve System, located 34 kilometres (21 mi) south of Papua New Guinea and about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Thursday Island, Torres Strait. The protected area and island are the most north westerly of the Torres Strait Islands located in the water of Torres Strait, part of Queensland in Australia, and 74 kilometres (46 mi) from Indonesia, at the border of West Papua province.