Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is a business division of the Department of Environment and Science within the Government of Queensland. The division’s primary concern is with the management and maintenance of protected areas within Queensland, to protect and manage Queensland’s parks and the Great Barrier Reef for current and future generations; the QPWS managed areas include more than 1000 national parks, state forests, marine parks and other protected areas, five world heritage areas. Queensland’s first national park, Witches Falls, was established on 28 March 1908, followed by Bunya Mountains National Park in July 1908, Lamington National Park in 1915. From modest early beginnings within the Forestry department, a dedicated national parks service was established in 1975—the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. From that time, park rangers have proudly worn QPWS uniform badge featuring the symbol, which has become one of the most well-recognised symbols in Queensland; the Nature Conservation Act 1992, Marine Parks Act 2004 and Forestry Act 1959 provide guiding legislation for the service.
Leanne Enoch, Minister for Environment and Science is responsible for the department. The agency's head office is located at 400 George Street in the Brisbane central business district. Protected areas in Queensland are needed to provide wildlife habitat to maintain biodiversity and provide opportunities for outdoor nature-based activities. Managing national parks involves protecting a park's natural condition and processes, presenting the park's cultural and natural resources and its values. Managing multiple-use marine parks involves providing refuge areas for species and ecosystems while allowing for continuing recreational and commercial use of the majority of the marine environment. A Master Plan for Queensland's Park System outlines the directions for management of all protected areas in Queensland for the next 20 years. QPWS is responsible for day-to-day management of Queensland’s five World Heritage areas, which are within the protected area estate; these properties are outstanding examples of the world's natural or cultural heritage, provide valuable environmental and economic services for Queensland.
For each park, either a management statement or a management plan is prepared to identify the park's special values and determine ways to ensure those values are preserved, enhanced or maintained. The service employs park rangers who are responsible for constructing and maintaining infrastructure such as camping areas, picnic areas, walking tracks and lookouts providing advice to visitors, recording wildlife data, controlling feral plants and animals, assisting in the preparation of management plans and enforcing park rules. QPWS works with Aboriginal Traditional Owners and, in some places, volunteers, as well as other government departments and organisations to conserve, manage and present Queensland’s most precious natural and cultural places. Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland National Parks Association of Queensland Find a park or forest
Mount Archer National Park
Mount Archer National Park is a national park in Central Queensland, Australia, 522 kilometres northwest of Brisbane. It makes up the backdrop to the city of Rockhampton; the vegetation is open eucalypt woodland with patches of vine scrub. The rufous shrikethrush, white-browed scrubwren, powerful owl and glossy black cockatoo are some of the bird species found in the park. A road leads to the summit of Mount Archer, where there are a few bushwalking and rock climbing opportunities. Protected areas of Queensland Mount Archer National Park - Queensland Holidays
Mount Etna Caves National Park
Mount Etna Caves is a national park in Central Queensland, Australia, 544 km northwest of Brisbane. The park's caves are the roosting site for more than 80 percent of Australia's breeding population of little bent-wing bats, it is one of the few places in Australia supporting a colony of the endangered Ghost Bat. Protected areas of Queensland
Bunya Mountains National Park
Bunya Mountains is a national park in the South Burnett Region, Australia. The park includes much of the mountain range called the Bunya Mountains; the park are encompasses the most westerly area of subtropical rainforest in southern Queensland and the largest population of bunya pines remaining in the world. It is situated 63 km northeast of 58 km southwest of Kingaroy; the park is known for permanent waterfalls and its views. The mild climate of the range means evening temperatures are low; the park is accessed by a steep and winding roads and is serviced with camping grounds, a network of walking tracks and several picnic grounds. The Wakka Wakka and Barrumgum tribes are the traditional owners for the bunya mountains and have inhabited and managed the mountains through traditional land-use management for thousands of years which included the cultural significant'Bunya Feasts' which would see thousands of people from surrounding tribes from Queensland and New South Wales come to the bunya mountains for these gatherings.
The Bunya grasslands are unique relics of a much cooler climate and have existed since the last ice age and have persisted due to regular burning by Indigenous people over many thousands of years. The balds are considered a cultural landscape and an enduring symbol of indigenous land management which still hold significance to Indigenous people today; the arrival of European settlers saw the removal of indigenous communities off the Bunya Mountains ending active fire management by indigenous people from 1860s onwards. During the 1860s the park was logged for red cedar, bunya pine and hoop pine and the Aboriginals were pushed out. European settlers began to enjoy the scenery in the same decade; the Bunya Sawmill opened in 1883. As the 9,112 hectare national park was declared in 1908, it makes it the second oldest national park in Queensland. A further addition to the park was donated by WA Russell MLA in 1927. Timber was still removed from the national park until about 1917; the last sawmill on the mountains closed in 1945.
The first walking tracks were constructed in 1939. Carbine's chute was the first of many trenches built to assist the removal of logs off the mountains, it can be accessed by a 1.5 km track from Munros camp. The last sawmill in the area was at Wengenville, which closed in 1961. In a successful attempt to reduce the splintering and damage to logs from falling down the steep trenches the owner of the Wengenville sawmill, Lars Anderson, used a combination of tramway, winches and flying foxes to transport logs; some of the parks bunya pines are estimated to be up to 600 years old and 25 metres high. The forests contain wild raspberry, many vines and pockets of ferns. Other trees species in the park include white silky oaks. Grass trees on Mount Kiangarow grow nearly 5 m tall and some are least several hundred years old. Scattered throughout the mountain forests are many natural clearings known as'grassy balds'; these clearings are a few hectares in area and are caused by bushfires and geological conditions.
Where there a slabs of unfractured basalt soil formation and root penetration is impossible, leaving a patch in the forest. There are about 100 balds, although those caused by fire are being lost due to a lack of recent fires; the grassy balds have a higher biodiversity than the dense rainforests, because they are home to birds and rodents not found elsewhere in the forest. The park is home to more than 200 frogs and reptiles as well as marsupials such as pademelons, rock wallabies, swamp wallabies and an endemic subspecies of ringtail possum found only on the mountain peaks. Reptile species include the blue-tongued skink, land mullet, carpet snake, red bellied black snake and brown tree snake; the mountains are part of the Bunya Mountains and Yarraman Important Bird Area which contains what is thought to be the largest population of the black-breasted button-quail. In the park, 120 species of bird have been recorded. Significant species include the wedge-tailed eagle, peregrine falcon, grey goshawk, brown cuckoo-dove, rose robin, eastern yellow robin, large-billed gerygone, Australian golden whistler.
The Bunya Mountains support the most westerly populations of many rainforest dwelling species, including green catbirds, regent bowerbirds, paradise riflebirds, eastern whipbirds, noisy pittas and the Australian logrunner. Some of the more seen species include pied currawongs, laughing kookaburras, Australian king parrots, crimson rosellas, sulphur-crested cockatoos, red-browed finches, white-browed scrubwrens, satin bowerbirds, wonga pigeons and brush turkeys; the park contains a number of waterfalls including Mcgrory Falls. The national park is managed by the department of national parks, recreation and racing, There has been an integrated program of burning the unique grassland balds by Queensland Parks and Wildlife in the Bunya Mountains since the late 1990s with 27% of unburnt balds being burnt for the first time in many years. There have been difficulties in recovering a number of balds which have well established forest canopies due to decades of non-burning, these balds may be too far gone to recover.
Some balds which have had significant forest species invasion have had mechanical removal and coppicing of trees to aid recovery of the balds through burning. Proactive fire management is a priority within the current management plan for the Bunya Mountains National Park with additional importance given to partnerships with traditional owners using traditional fire techniques in restoring and maintaining the grasslands. Australian Government initiatives such as the ‘Working on Country’ Program has been active on the mountain since 2009 allowing gre
Castle Tower National Park
Castle Tower is a national park in the Gladstone Region, Australia. 407 km northwest of Brisbane. The vegetation in the park is predominantly Open eucalypt woodland. There are some stands of hoop pine. Mount Castle Tower can be seen from Lake Awoonga; the park has limited access with permission required from Gladstone Area Water Board to cross their property. There are no facilities for visitors. Boyne Valley, Queensland Protected areas of Queensland
Taunton National Park
Taunton National Park is situated near the town of Dingo 135 km inland from Rockhampton in eastern Central Queensland, Australia. The park encompasses an area of 11,626 ha within the Northern Brigalow Belt bioregion of Queensland. Taunton National Park is designated as a scientific nature reserve due to its importance in ensuring the ongoing survival and protection of the endangered bridled nail-tail wallaby; the wallabies protection has facilitated natural regeneration processes within reserve boundaries, protected ecosystem communities from further agricultural disturbances in the surrounding landscape, provided habitats for native fauna and helped conserve a wide range of biodiversity. Cracking clay soils and brigalow vegetation species are dominant in the northern region of the park, while texture-contrast soils in combination with Eucalypt communities dominate the western region; the parks topography is reasonably with a gradual slope from the north and western ends of the park towards the eastern and southern margins.
The regions climate is described as semi-arid. The distribution of rainfall over such a condensed period leaves the area prone to droughts; the most recent drought of significance occurred between 1991 and 1995 with detrimental impacts on the surviving bridled nailtail wallaby population. As is typical of the tropical savannah in the Northern Brigalow Belt, a combination of open, grassy Eucalypt woodlands, transitional zones and regrowing Acacia shrub-lands and forests comprise Taunton National Parks main vegetation zones; the most common vegetation associations within the park and surrounding areas, tend to be dominated by either brigalow or poplar box species, which occur along with other Acacia and Ecualyptus spp. Water-bodies present within the park boundaries consist of a small number of creeks; the region in which Taunton National Park is located, was subject to long-term, wide-scale agricultural development and associated disturbances. During the 1950s and 1960s extensive clearance of brigalow scrub began to take place in order to establish pastoral grasses for grazing domestic sheep and cattle.
Buffel grass was sowed for fodder in the cleared areas, became irreversibly established. A governmental initiative called the'Brigalow Development Scheme' provided great incentive for increasing agricultural development in the Brigalow region and accelerated the rate and scale of vegetation clearance for conversion to buffel grass; the success of this scheme resulted in agricultural system adjustments so that more intensive land use practices became common, with smaller properties and higher stock numbers. The cumulative effects of this land use change resulted in a considerable reduction in remnant vegetation patch size and occurrence; this in turn reduced the availability of habitat and shelter for native fauna, altered the natural vegetation composition. In 1973 a bridled nail-tail wallaby was sighted on a cattle property named'Taunton' and reported by a fencing contractor. There had been reports of a significant decline in the wallabies population numbers during the early 1900s with no recorded sightings since the 1930s, subsequently the species had been presumed extinct.
Following this sighting, Taunton was purchased in 1979 and established as a scientific reserve to ensure the protection and survival of the endangered wallaby. In 1984, another cattle property'Red Hill', situated adjacent to Taunton, was added to the reserve and the whole area became named'Taunton National Park'; the park occurs in the Northern Brigalow'Tropical Savannah' ecoregion, so named for the predominant flora species of the region. Vegetation clearance throughout this district and in fact the whole Brigalow Belt, has resulted in an extensive loss of biodiversity and overall ecosystem degradation. Despite considerable regional agricultural and pastoral development, a large proportion of the park's vegetation remained intact or was exposed to minimal disturbance prior to the reserve being established; the park has high regional significance today as only 17% of vegetation within the park had been removed by 1975, thereby conserving once prevalent, regionally representative ecosystems and vegetation communities, which are now restricted to bush fragments and reserves.
The region that the park is located in has been demonstrated to have one of the highest rate of annual clearance, when compared with other subregions within Queensland. This high clearance rate has contributed to a number of Brigalow-typical ecosystems becoming otherwise at risk or endangered, which highlights the importance of the parks biodiversity, as 12 of the regions ecosystems are represented within the reserve. Endangered open forest or woodland ecosystems in the park include. Brigalow shrubland/forest assemblages of A. harpophylla with yellow-wood and false sandalwood, are endangered, having undergone wide-scale clearing throughout the 1900s. Ecosystem communities represented within the park which are considered to be'of concern' include.
Sundown National Park
Sundown is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 198 km south west of Brisbane. The park contains a number of peaks higher than 1,000 m, it is the source of the Severn River, the starting point of the Darling River. This Severn River is a separate river from the New South Wales river of the same name; the river has cut a 10 km long gorge through hard trap rock. Some of the Severn River's tributaries contain waterfalls; the area has a complex geological history. Before it was a national park the land was mined for molybdenite, tungsten, copper and tin. Disused mines are contaminated. Shellfish fossils can be found on the summit of Mount Donaldson, 1,038 m above sea level; the trap rock which underlays most of the park contains granite intrusions which has caused some fracturing. In the north of the park stringybark, yellow box, brown box and Tenterfield woollybutt are the most common trees. Along the river red river gum, river oak, tea-tree and bottlebrush are found; some areas of the park were cleared for the production of wool.
At least 150 species of bird have been noted in the park, including the northernmost population of superb lyrebirds. The park is home to the most northerly population of wombats along with nearby Girraween National Park. Tiger quolls and platypus are other species that may be found. In the south east of the park at Broadwater campground. Bush camping is permitted. Camping permits and fees apply in both cases. There are a number of long walking tracks in the park. Access to the park from New South Wales is via a turn-off into Mingoola Station Road at the Mingoola School, along the Bruxner Highway. Turn right into Glenyon Dam Road and another right into Permanents Road, which promptly enters the park; this section is the most developed with the Broadwater Camping Area providing toilets, boil-your-own hot showers, short walking tracks, sheltered tables and taps with river and rain water provided at the ranger station. This section is accessible for 2WD and motorhomes/caravans/campertrailers under 5 meters.
Protected areas of Queensland Sundown National Park - Queensland Holidays, Tourism Queensland