Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

North Coast - bioregional-scale conservation

The North Coast Bioregion has the second highest area of conservation oriented mechanisms of the NSW bioregions. Together, these tenures occupy about 1,061,709.63 hectares or 18.65 per cent of the bioregion.

National parks and nature reserves (under the NPW Act 1974) make the greatest contribution to the area conserved, occupying a total area of 991,386,82 hectares, or about 17.42 per cent of the bioregion. Of this area, about 347,425.61 hectares is provided additional management under the Wilderness Act 1987 and is composed of 11 declared wilderness areas, together occupying about 6.1 per cent of the bioregion.

Further recognition and protection is also given to a series of national parks and nature reserves in the bioregion, known as the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. This has been included on the globally recognised World Heritage list as one of four world heritage areas in NSW. Occupying approximately 307,284 hectares or 5.40 per cent of the bioregion, the area is protected by international convention as well as the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999, which automatically protects all Australian properties that are on the World Heritage List.

Reserves (Crown Lands Act 1989) managed by the NPWS contributes 21,862.34 hectares to the area managed for biodiversity conservation in the bioregion.

Other lands managed under the NPW Act 1974 include: land managed as Aboriginal area (125.61 hectares or 0.002 per cent of the bioregion); land managed as historic site (482.8 hectares or 0.008 per cent of the bioregion); and land managed as state recreation areas (222.1 hectares or 0.004 per cent of the bioregion).

Within recent years, landholders on 25 properties have entered into voluntary conservation agreements. Together the area managed permanently for conservation management occupies about 1362.53 hectares or 0.02 per cent of the bioregion. Landholders on 71 properties also hold wildlife refuges, occupying 36,720.46 hectares or 0.65 per cent of the bioregion, making a significant contribution to off-park landscape conservation. Updated mapping is likely to increase the area occupied under wildlife refuges.

Landholders on 120 properties have entered into property agreements (NVC Act 1997). The conservation zones of the agreements occupy about 2,036.93 hectares or 0.04 per cent of the bioregion

Outside of the NPW Act 1974, 36 flora reserves under the provisions of the Forestry Act 1916 contribute towards biodiversity conservation in the bioregion, occupying about 7,510.05 hectares or 0.13 per cent of the bioregion.

Also under the provisions of the Forestry Act 1916, State forests (managed primarily for forestry activities but each with various degrees of zoning from commercial forestry to conservation), occupy about 789,329.45 hectares or 13.87 per cent of the bioregion.

Two State Environmental Planning Policies operate in the North Coast Bioregion. SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands) (78,317.08 hectares or 1.38 per cent) and SEPP 26 (Littoral Rainforests) (629.74 hectares or 0.01 per cent of the 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