The State Government today reaffirmed its commitment to the ongoing protection of one of Western Australia’s most important conservation areas, the Barrow group nature reserves off the Pilbara coast.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob released a new management plan for the islands to guide management of this unique and important area for the next 10 years.
The plan covers about 24,000 hectares of land down to the low water mark on Barrow Island and the nearby Boodie, Double and Middle Islands Nature Reserve.
“The islands are world-renowned for their environmental values and distinct biodiversity, with 23 threatened species on Barrow Island alone,” Mr Jacob said.
“Together with extensive cave ecosystems and important nesting beaches for marine turtles and migratory shorebirds, the diversity of habitat and fauna is unparalleled
“The island’s relative isolation and the application of a rigorous quarantine system have resulted in Barrow Island being the largest land mass in Australia that does not contain any introduced vertebrates and we are keen to protect this in the future.”
The Minister said the plan had been through an extensive consultation process, with the Department of Parks and Wildlife liaising with stakeholders including Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, the Department of Mines and Petroleum, Department of State Development, traditional custodians, conservation groups and community groups.
The plan was prepared by Parks and Wildlife on behalf of the Conservation Commission of WA and will be implemented alongside industry environmental management documents.
Copies of the final management plan are available at http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au
- Barrow Island is the second largest island off the coast of WA
- The Barrow group nature reserves have a strong history of Aboriginal use with 13 registered Aboriginal cultural heritage sites
- Animals with high conservation value found in the islands include turtles, shorebirds, wallabies, boodies, euros, bandicoots, fairy terns and fairy wrens
Source: Department of Parks and Wildlife