Norfolk and Herbertvale nature refuges aim to protect ecosystems, assist graziers in north-west Queensland

Norfolk and Herbertvale nature refuges aim to protect ecosystems, assist graziers in north-west Queensland

A cattle farmer has welcomed the creation of two new nature reserves in north-west Queensland, saying they will help graziers manage the land and protect endangered species.

Key points: The refuges are established to protect endangered species A refuge is a legally protected piece of land under the state’s Nature Conservation Act. Farmers say the refuges will enable better land management

Last week the Queensland Government announced the Norfolk Nature Refuge. Located 200 kilometers northwest of Mount Isa, the refuge will include more than 30,000 hectares of protected area.

In addition, it announced the Herbertvale Nature Refuge, which will cover just under 30,000ha of woodland on the Herbertvale Cattle Station, about 260km north-west of Mount Isa, just south of Lawn Hill.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said in a statement that the government had pledged $1.6 million to the new sanctuaries to “protect and support the enormous biodiversity and habitats for several threatened species”.

The Norfolk and Herbertvale nature reserves are located north-west of Mount Isa. (Provided: Datawrapper) Better land management

Nature reserves are a class of privately protected areas under the state’s Nature Conservation Act 1992 that are administered by a legally binding agreement between a landowner and the government.

Shelly Hawkins has welcomed the new nature reserves and says they will help her manage her station better. (Supplied: Shelly Hawkins)

Shelly Hawkins is a grazier and the manager of Herbertvale Station. She said the creation of the refuges gave her “more tools to manage the land better”.

“We can now fence off some of those waterways to keep them as beautiful as they are,” Ms Hawkins said.

“This means we can fence off some of our downs land which is easily overgrazed.

“So it just gives us management tools to be able to spread grazing pressure, and keep the land in its best condition.”

Major waterways fed by the Gregory River run through the Herbertvale Nature Refuge. (Provided: Queensland Government) Endangered Species Protection

Both nature reserves are part of the Mount Isa Local Government Area.

The region has at least 25 rare or threatened species, according to data from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

Ms Scanlon said the new sanctuaries would “further preserve the conservation values ​​of the area and ensure our wildlife will thrive”.

The Carpentarian grass wren is an endangered bird of northwest Queensland. (Provided: Southern Gulf NRM) Local news straight to your inbox

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