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Qld to double nature reserves by 2020

By Miranda Forster , Ninemsn

879 days ago   Article ID# 1317489
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World Wildlife Fund

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (Ninemsn) - The state government plans to more than double its nature reserves and compile a list of top 10 endangered species under a plan to save Queensland's declining wildlife.

Under Queensland's new Biodiversity Strategy, released on Sunday, the coverage of nature refuges was expected to increase from three million hectares to seven million hectares by 2020, Environment Minister Vicky Darling said.

A new advisory committee including ministers, environmental and planning experts and indigenous members would flag a list of top 10 species needing urgent attention, and oversee the implementation of the strategy.

Ms Darling said major threats to Queensland's wildlife included climate change, population growth, and introduced predators, adding that the 2010/11 summer of natural disasters had made the task tougher.

"This government has already set a strong platform of measures to safeguard our natural environments ... but we need to advance the cause with a comprehensive strategy that builds on past and current efforts," she said in a statement.

Protected waters in the Gulf of Carpentaria could be extended under the plan, with a bid to add a state marine park to the southern end of the Gulf, adjoining a proposed federal marine reserve.

And a strategy to rescue the cassowary on Mission Beach area was also flagged.

World Wildlife Fund conservation scientist Dr Martin Taylor welcomed the focus on expanding protected areas but said instant action was needed.

"Now we need immediate follow-through on the strategy to bring our wombats and wallabies, turtles and dugongs back from the brink of extinction," Dr Taylor said in a statement.

"We urge all the political parties in Queensland to commit to this strategy and its targets."

Copyright 2014 Ninemsn   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 879 days ago   Article ID# 1317489

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