(QldGovSpin) Reptile habitat protected by cape nature refuge

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 14/07/2004 - 21:50

A vital natural corridor which is home to more than 70 species of reptiles will be protected by a new nature refuge announced by Environment Minister, John Mickel, in Cooktown today.

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Environment, John Mickel
environment@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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13/07/04

Mr Mickel said the South Endeavour Nature Refuge 20 kilometres west of Cooktown covers 4148 hectares and would protect a large number of reptiles which are regionally distinct to Cape York.

"I congratulate the owners, Ian and Darrelyn Sharman, for making a commitment to protect these natural assets by entering into a conservation agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The nature refuge takes up about half of their property and contains a diverse range of fauna and flora including the Eastern Water Dragon, a number of striped skinks and distinctive snake species."

"The refuge protects the Endeavour River catchment and forms the boundary between the Cape York, Wet Tropics and Einasleigh Uplands bioregions."

The refuge also features regional forest types including mesophyll/notophyll vine forest, and Eucalyptus woodland.

Mr Mickel presented the Sharmans with a certificate recognising their achievement and two signs for the new nature refuge.

He said the Sharman's recently received over $15,000 from the Queensland Government as reimbursement for transfer duty paid when they bought the property.

"The reimbursement has been made through the Green Rewards program which offers financial incentives to landholders who enter conservation agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The Green Rewards program aims ensure that landowners are not disadvantaged if they decide to protect a parcel of land as nature refuge."

The Sharmans are the third property owners to receive a payment under the scheme which applies to land bought after 1 July 2003. The other properties are located in the Daintree and at Mission Beach.

A nature refuge is created through a conservation agreement between a landholder and the Queensland Government.

"Nature Refuges become a protected area under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 while remaining the property of the landholder," Mr Mickel said.

"Once declared a nature refuge, the Environmental Protection Agency provides advice and assistance to landholders about land management, plant and animal identification, and pest and weed control.

"I encourage more far north Queensland landholders to consider following the example set by the Sharmans and commit part or all of their property to a nature refuge," Mr Mickel said.

There are more than 100 nature refuges across Queensland.

Media contact:
Anne Syvret 3225 1819

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