A Dickinsonia fossil  in full view
Dickinsonia fossil one the the Earth's first animals, at Nilpena © Jason Irving / South Australian Department of the Environment and Water


Nilpena Ediacara, a fantastic example of how Australia could lead the way towards more biodiversity protection

  • Vanessa Billy
    Communications Manager
    The Nature Conservancy Australia
    Email: aumedia@tnc.org

The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC) welcomes the proclamation of the new Nilpena Ediacara National Park, which will add almost 60,000 hectares to South Australia’s protected area estate.  

“The protection of this vast former pastoral property is a great achievement for conservation in South Australia,” said Dr James Fitzsimons, Director of Conservation and Science for The Nature Conservancy Australia. “The property is of high conservation value in outback South Australia, and includes two threatened ecological communities and a number of threatened species. Most critically, it covers extremely important sites that contain the oldest fossilised animals on Earth.” 

In 2019, The Nature Conservancy Australia facilitated the purchase of the property and its transfer to the South Australian Government, with funding provided by the Wyss Campaign for Nature.   

Dr James Fitzsimons said the protection of the property is a significant milestone for conservation in South Australia but also for the country’s commitment to biodiversity protection. Earlier in the month, by joining the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the Australian Government committed to dedicating 30% of the planet’s lands, freshwaters and oceans to nature conservation by 2030. The target is likely to form a key plank in new biodiversity conservation targets to be negotiated later this year in China, as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity.  

“A strong commitment is paramount to tackle the growing loss of ecosystems and species and preserve the critical role they play in carbon storage, water quality and food provision,” said Dr James Fitzsimons.  

“Under the previous Convention on Biological Diversity, Australia has expanded its network of protected areas across public, private and Indigenous lands in a short amount of time and in a science-based manner. The proclamation of the Nilpena Ediacara National Park is a great example of one of the ways to do so. Now that the world needs to commit more to protect biodiversity at a time where it is under immense pressure, Australia has an important role to play. Not only can our past achievements help other countries as they strive for 30x30, but we should also use our unique position to lead by example by now committing to proactive funding and policies to achieving the target.” 

Read more about Nilpena Ediacara


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we focus on getting things done efficiently and with the greatest positive impact for conservation. We’re a trusted organisation working in more than 70 countries and territories around the world on innovative solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Australia, follow us on Facebook.