Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

Murray Darling Depression - bioregional-scale conservation

Conservation management in the Murray Darling Depression Bioregion is achieved through a range of conservation mechanisms that together occupy about 421,082 hectares or 5.25 per cent of the bioregion.

Mechanisms provided for under the NPW Act 1974, and specifically national parks and nature reserves, are responsible for the majority of land conserved. Mallee Cliffs and Mungo National Parks (NPW Act 1974) both lie wholly within the bioregion.

Eight nature reserves occur either partially or wholly within the bioregion and together with the national parks occupy 279,343 hectares or 3.48 per cent of the bioregion. None of the reserves in the bioregion are managed as wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act 1987, although the Willandra Lakes Region is included on the globally recognised World Heritage list as one of four world heritage areas in NSW.

Occupying approximately 240,000 hectares or almost 3 per cent of the bioregion, the Willandra Lakes region is protected by international convention as well as by the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999, which automatically protects all Australian properties that are on the World Heritage List.

About 10 per cent of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage area is in Mungo National Park, which covers about two-thirds of Lake Mungo. Despite its name, the world heritage area is not within Willandra National Park in the Riverina Bioregion.

There are no Aboriginal areas, no historic sites, no state recreation areas and no regional parks in the bioregion. No voluntary conservation agreements or property agreements have been entered into with landholders, although 9 wildlife refuges are held by landholders and occupy about 1.76 per cent of the bioregion.

A small proportion (0.07 per cent) of the bioregion is managed as State forests for a range of forestry practices under the Forestry Act 1916, including timber production and forest management. There are 10 State Forests managed primarily for forestry activities and one flora reserve (Peacock Creek Flora Reserve) which occupies 0.001 per cent of the bioregion and spans the border with the Riverina Bioregion.

Note: This information is an extract from 'The Bioregions of New South Wales: their biodiversity, conservation and history' (2003) NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville and the data is current for 2003, the date of the publication.

Documents to download


Parks and reserves in this bioregion



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Page last updated: 24 February 2017