Press Release

Landmark partnership to enhance conservation across six million hectares

29 Apr. 2022
Brad Leue/AWC

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCo) are proud to announce a landmark partnership that will include an additional six million hectares to conservation land management in Australia.

The historic new relationship will see the two organisations working together to influence positive, measurable outcomes for biodiversity across NAPCo’s six million hectare estate.

AWC currently operates across 6.5 million hectares in some of the most iconic regions of the continent. By joining forces with NAPCo, AWC will be doubling its conservation footprint to a massive 12.5 million hectares.


Potential Night Parrot Habitat Andrew Howe
Potential Night Parrot Habitat on NAPCo property

NAPCo is one of Australia’s largest private landholders and oldest cattle producers, operating across 14 properties in the Northern Territory and Queensland, and have been committed to sustainable environmental management for over a century.

Large tracts of NAPCO’s properties retain healthy ecosystems, with 395,794 hectares set aside as dedicated nature refuges. Given this commitment and the scale of operations, these vast stations have considerable conservation value and will expand substantially upon AWC’s existing conservation efforts.

Tim Allard, Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Chief Executive Officer, said that while pastoralism and conservation may have been viewed as unusual bedfellows in the past, pragmatic, unconventional partnerships such as these are crucial for unlocking conservation at scale.

Around 427 million hectares (or approximately 55 per cent) of the Australian continent is used for pastoralism and agriculture. Partnerships such as these offer an exciting pathway for catalysing positive change and deploying large-scale conservation. An integrated approach is expected to generate positive outcomes for conservation as well as for pastoral productivity, providing incentives for all parties.


“The call to action to address Australia’s extinction crisis has never been louder. This partnership represents an exciting extension of the AWC model for conservation. By joining forces with NAPCo we have a great opportunity to magnify the impact of our actions for the benefit of biodiversity,” Allard said. “Collaboration and innovation across science, research and land management are crucial if we are to secure the survival of Australia’s wildlife and restore our natural capital.”

Allan Cooney, Chief Executive Officer of The North Australian Pastoral Company said that this partnership will demonstrate to the rest of the world what can be done – sustainable and commercial pastoralism can operate, and better outcomes for biodiversity can be achieved, by working together.   The success of this partnership is very important.

AWC scientists have used previous ecological surveys, historical records and publicly available fauna data to estimate that NAPCo properties likely support up to 760 vertebrate species – of which 15 are listed as threatened. These threatened species include the Plains Wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus), Southern Snapping Turtle (Elseya albagula), Kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei) and the tiny Collared Delma (Delma torquata).

Several NAPCo properties in south-west Queensland support some of the last remaining wild populations of the Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and a number of properties are located in bioregions which are currently poorly represented in the National Reserve System.

The success of this partnership is important not only for the future of native wildlife but for the conservation landscape of Australia. It will demonstrate to the rest of the world what can be done – sustainable and commercial pastoralism can operate, and better outcomes for biodiversity can be achieved, by working together.

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