Welcome to Connect and Protect, the blog of National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ), featuring articles related to the various land tenures that protect nature within our state
How are national park systems in other states faring? What challenges do they face?
The National Parks Association of Queensland caught up with the NPAs across Australia for their perspectives on the biggest issues facing their state’s national parks.
Multi-day walks in national parks are becoming increasingly sought after – especially commercial ‘supported’ walks run by private operators. Walkers only carry a day or light pack, as accommodation and food are typically provided, as well as guides. Such walks make the experience accessible to a wider range of people keen to appreciate the immersion in nature. However, the impacts of commercial walks in national parks are also coming under increased scrutiny.
Two such walks undertaken by the author in the last three years are presented as examples to illustrate diverse models of such walks, with noticeable differences in the impacts and experience.
Inland from the coastal town of Mackay in central Queensland and bordering the Pioneer Valley, is the Clarke Range. Recognised as a Key Biodiversity Area by Birdlife Australia, it is home to the endemic Eungella honeyeater (Bolemoreus hindwoodi). This honeyeater has the smallest distribution of any mainland Australian bird and is listed as Vulnerable under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act.
To fully understand how truly amazing this region is, the best way to experience it is on the Cooloola Great Walk. This 5-day hike through the Cooloola region of the stunning Great Sandy National Park will challenge you and amaze with stunning views.
The Ramsar convention encourages the designation of sites containing representative, rare or unique wetlands, or wetlands that are important for conserving biological diversity.
A place of beauty and diversity, the Australian outback is one of the last great regions of nature left on Earth. Outback Queensland boasts landscapes, rich in natural and cultural heritage, covering nearly two thirds of our state.
Our state’s biodiversity has borne the brunt of much of our activity. The last State of the Environment Report contains some sobering figures. From 2007 to 2015 a further 61 fauna species became extinct, endangered or vulnerable (threatened). 68 recognised threats are contributing to this; key ones being vegetation clearing and inappropriate fire and grazing regimes. During the same period 275 plant species became threatened - the key contributing processes again being clearing, the spread of weeds and inappropriate fire regimes.
One evening when my boys were younger, Matthew, then ten, looked at me from across a restaurant table and said quite seriously, “Dad, how come it was more fun when you were a kid?”
Citizen science initiatives provide an opportunity for nature lovers to get involved directly with conservation and through doing so gain a greater understanding and respect for it. NPAQ industry placement student Lucy Hollingsworth, from the University of Queensland, looks at some of the benefits - for scientists and the individuals volunteering to support their research.
State of the Park 2017, authored by NPAQ member Wade Lewis, highlights positive developments over the past year including advances made by the State Government in its approach to national park acquisition, planning and management.
After being confronted by hordes of tourists jostling for position and blaring music at Uluru, NPAQ President Michelle Prior ponders whether the futureof Australia's national parks may be heading the same way as America where there has been a loss of the spirit of wilderness preservation.