The Courier-Mail

Native fauna gets a bigger range to roam

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QUEENSLAND’S nature reserves have expanded by 100,000ha.

Launching Threatened Species Day, Environmen­t Minister Steven Miles said seven new reserves would help protect creatures including cassowarie­s, koalas, black-necked storks, tusked frogs and the s spectacula­r Richmond birdw wing butterflie­s.

“One way we can ensure native wildlife continues to have habitat, as developmen­t continues, is working with trusts and private landholder­s to protect the areas these creatures call home,” Dr Miles said.

Amid animals from Australia Zoo and Dreamworld, including Tyson the blackheade­d python (pictured with handler Olivia Degn), he told a crowd in Queen Street Mall that private reserves were key to protecting habitat and a hoped-for 17 per cent of the state. Just 5 per cent is under national park protection, compared to Tasmania’s 24 per cent and NZ’s 11.4 per cent.

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