Vast sweeping plains, picturesque wetlands and dancing brolga. The Lakes has it all. Once a well-managed cattle station, the stunning property inland from Townsville was recently purchased by the Queensland Government with support from The Nature Conservancy.
The former grazing property is on Gudjala country. It’s home to high-altitude lakes, rare gums and unique forests. On the property, four unique hyper saline lakes, classified as Wetlands of High Ecological Significance, provide habitat for species that are unique and isolated. It’s also an important habitat for the vulnerable Northern Greater Glider.
The purchase of The Lakes in February was the first under Queensland’s $60 million strategy to grow national parks by 2030. It was the biggest in the state’s history, however this has recently been superseded by the acquisition of the Bramwell and Richardson stations in Cape York.
A haven for wildlife
The Lakes is an important acquisition, due to its location in a poorly protected region. Turning it into a national park will link it to other protected areas and create a safe haven for wildlife like the threatened Greater Glider and the Little Bent-wing Bat.
Returning land to Traditional Owners
The Nature Conservancy started negotiations to purchase The Lakes in 2019 with support from the Wyss Campaign for Nature. The Wyss Foundation and artist Haley Mellin’s Art into Acres initiative together donated $US1.82 million as part of the purchase price.
The land was purchased with a view to provide Gudjara First Nations people opportunities to engage in land conservation and indigenous cultural heritage management.
Fighting climate change with nature
Protecting areas like The Lakes is about more than just conserving our flora and fauna. It’s also a frontline in the battle against climate change.
Large ecosystems like forests and wetlands play a crucial role in carbon storage. Ecosystems like those found at The Lakes can store a lot of carbon. As climate change forces us to consider ways to reduce carbon present in the atmosphere, it’s critical we protect the ecosystems that support this process.
Ensuring the health of landscapes like The Lakes is one of the most effective ways to support natural solutions to a changing climate.
At The Nature Conservancy we’re passionate about conserving the lands and waters we all depend on. We deliver results based on actionable science. Will you help us deliver high impact conservation today?