Private protected areas

‘Private protected areas’ are internationally recognised as an important part of protected area systems, and in Queensland are formally represented by special wildlife reserves and nature refuges. Protected areas are the most significant and visible means by which Queenslanders can seek to safeguard our internationally recognised and iconic biological diversity.

    The Nature Refuges Program

    Gain recognition for sustainable land management practices, now and into the future

    Through the Nature Refuges Program landholders can partner with the Queensland Government to establish a nature refuge on their property to protect biodiversity. A nature refuge is an area of land voluntarily protected for conservation, while allowing compatible and sustainable land uses to continue. A nature refuge is negotiated through a legally binding, perpetual nature refuge agreement between the landholder and the State. Read more about the Nature Refuges Program.


    Projects that help manage conservation values

    The NatureAssist program invests in projects that protect significant conservation values in areas identified as important for landscape resilience to a changing climate—in partnership with targeted landholders. Read more about NatureAssist.

    Nature Refuge Landholder Grant

    The Nature Refuge Landholder Grant (NRLG) provides financial assistance to existing nature refuge landholders with a nature refuge agreement with the department. The grant will support landholders, within their Nature Refuge, to undertake projects that will protect and enhance the significant values outlined in their Nature Refuge Agreement. Read more about Nature Refuge Landholder Grants.

    Special wildlife reserves

    A special wildlife reserve is a voluntary, binding and perpetual class of protected area, for application on privately managed land in Queensland. It can apply to freehold and leasehold tenures, with ownership and management responsibilities remaining unaffected.

    The special wildlife reserve class of protected area provides a national park level of protection to private land that contains exceptional natural and/or cultural values and that is managed in a way that focuses on conserving those values. Land declared as a special wildlife reserve receives statutory protection in perpetuity from incompatible land uses such as mining and native timber harvesting. Commercial grazing is also not permitted on special wildlife reserves. Read more about the special wildlife reserves.