The “Alps to Atherton” massive conservation corridor announced by the New South Wales Environment Minister in late Febuary, 2007 is a worthwhile project. Apparently the NSW Government has pledged A$7 million over the next few years. Allegedly Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory governments have all agreed but have yet to make financial pledges.
Should this concept become a reality, while novel in Australia, this significant corridor about 2800 km in length would compare favourably with the 3200 km long Yellowstone to Yukon corridor that spans North Americas Rocky mountains.
The concept is based on a proposal to link existing reserves and to protect and restore ecological links that will allow species to move freely and find new areas of sanctuary as the effects of climate change escalate. There will be no compulsory acquisition and initiatives will be purely voluntary. Land-owners who wish to participate would sign a voluntary conservation agreement that would travel with title and so the land is protected even if sold.
Such a concept fits comfortably with WPSQ’s Conservation of Biodiversity policy, our policy on National Park Management and our Save the Bush campaign. WPSQ has advocated the use of continent scale models that integrate conservation on protected areas with compatible land use across millions of hectares. Such mechanisms must address comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness of regional ecosystems as well as connectivity and resilience so ecological processes and biodiversity conservation can continue.
WPSQ would be concerned if this concept provided yet another distraction to the Queensland Government in fulfilling its agreed National Reserve System targets. These targets will help stem the extinction crisis. In 2005, Queensland Government agreed to making sure that all threatened species habitat and endangered regional ecosystems are represented in the park system by 2010. Although commendable effort has gone into transfer of State Forests, Cape York ,the Daintree and funds for SEQ, little progress has been achieved in the priority regions for the National Reserve System.
More information about the corridor.
For more information about the poultry shed grant scheme and other activities, contact Wildlife Queensland by email or call +61 7 3221 0194.