Boonah nature reserve protects vital vegetation corridor
A vital vegetation corridor in Boonah will be protected by a new nature refuge announced today by Environment Minister, John Mickel.
Mr Mickel said south-east Queensland's natural environment was coming under increasing pressure because of the region's rapid population growth.
"The declaration of the Bartopia Nature Refuge highlights the importance of preserving open space and habitat in south east Queensland," Mr Mickel said.
"I congratulate the owners, Ben and Marilyn Barton on entering into a conservation agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and committing themselves to protecting our natural assets."
The 105.4 hectare Bartopia Nature Refuge is 30 kilometres south of Boonah.
Mr Mickel said it was one of 15 new Nature Refuges gazetted across Queensland highlighting the importance of partnerships between landholders and the EPA.
"The refuge protects a vegetation corridor between two sections of Mount Barney National Park," Mr Mickel said.
"It also supports several regional forest types, including dry vine forest, subtropical rainforest, and Sclerophyll and wet Sclerophyll forest.
"The nature refuge shows the continued commitment by the Bartons to the environment, with Ben Barton being involved in the formation of the Nature Refuge Landholders Association (NaRLA) to promote private conservation."
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is using the property as a base to research the elusive southern spotted-tailed quoll.
Mr Mickel said a nature refuge was created through a conservation agreement between a landholder and the Queensland Government.
"Nature Refuges become a protected area under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 while remaining the property of the landholder," Mr Mickel said.
"Once declared a nature refuge, the EPA provides advice and assistance to landholders about land management, plant and animal identification, and pest and weed control. I encourage more landholders to consider following the lead of the Bartons and making a lasting commitment to conservation in south-east Queensland," Mr Mickel said.
A Greencorps team of enthusiastic young trainees recently undertook a range of conservation related activities on Bartopia, including creating tracks, weed control and fauna surveys.