New Nature Refuge to Protect 100 Threatened Species


June 2006: A hotspot for Australia’s threatened wildlife is set to become the nation’s newest nature refuge and one of Australia’s most important conservation areas.

Brooklyn Wildlife Sanctuary, covering 60,000 hectares north-west of Cairns, is home to a remarkable 45 threatened animals and over 50 threatened plants. Extending from the rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to the vast plains of the Mitchell River, Brooklyn is thought to contain more threatened species than any other area of private land in Australia.

The property is now formally protected under Queensland legislation with the signing today of a conservation agreement between the owners of Brooklyn, the non-profit Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), and the Queensland Government.

Speaking at the signing of the Conservation Agreement, AWC Chief Executive, Atticus Fleming said “it is an historic day for conservation in Australia, with the formal establishment of a private nature reserve which ranks alongside Kakadu, the Daintree and Fraser Island as one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ for the conservation of our native wildlife."

Brooklyn was purchased in 2004 by AWC with financial assistance ($4.5million) from the Australian Government.

"Brooklyn is one of Australia’s great wildlife havens. This single property is home to more than 40% of all Australian bird species and more than 30% of Australia’s mammal species. It would have been lost forever except for the assistance of the Australian Government, which enabled AWC to buy and protect the land.”=

"The property will now enjoy legal protection in perpetuity under the special conservation agreement AWC has developed with the Queensland Government.

The agreement guarantees a more secure future for 100 threatened species.”

Mr Fleming said that AWC had established an active management program, attacking weeds and feral animals in order to protect Brooklyn’s precious wildlife. Iconic species such as the Cassowary, Northern Quoll, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo and Red Goshawk will benefit from AWC’s practical and innovative approach to land management.“

Saving threatened wildlife is ‘core business’ for AWC. We are determined to turn back the tide of extinctions in Australia by protecting ‘hotspots’ such as Brooklyn”.

The management of Brooklyn is funded by donations from AWC supporters across Australia.

“AWC is helping define a new model for conservation, translating philanthropic goodwill into on-ground conservation. Our supporters are making a difference where it really counts – protecting wildlife in the field at places like Brooklyn.”

Mr Fleming thanked all AWC supporters who are helping to protect Brooklyn and its wildlife, as well as the Queensland and Australian governments and partner organisations such as The Nature Conservancy.

More information about Brooklyn Sanctuary

More information about the Australian Government’s support for reserve acquisition:
The Biodiversity Hotspots Programme that supported the purchase of Brooklyn builds on the success of the Australian Government’s National Reserve System Programme that has provided $80 million since 1997 to establish 20 million hectares in 271 new reserves (including several privately owned reserves) across the country.

More information about the Queensland Government’s Nature Refuge program:
The Queensland Government is taking the lead among State Governments in relation to the promotion of conservation on private land. There are now more than 200 conservation agreements over private land in Queensland: see