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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

15 November 2005

Important arid wildlife and habitats protected

The Australian Government has provided $1.8 million to support the purchase by the Australian Bush Heritage Fund of Cravens Peak Station – a large area of far western Queensland with an outstanding concentration of biodiversity for arid Australia.

Cravens Peak Station, south west of Boulia, extends north from the dunes of the Simpson Desert to the grasslands of the Mulligan River, and includes parts of the Toko and Tooma Ranges. It covers an area of more than 233,000 hectares, the size of metropolitan Sydney.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, was pleased to add Cravens Peak Station to the National Reserve System and to ensure its protection for future generations.

"Cravens Peak Station is a vast and awe inspiring landscape with a remarkable variety of life. The vibrant desert dunes, immense plains, worn and ancient mountain ranges, wetlands and channel country provide homes for an abundance of small mammals, reptiles and migratory birds," Senator Campbell said.

"There are 21 major plant communities and more than 220 species of animals. It supports the greatest diversity of reptile fauna of any desert in the world.

"The Station also provides habitat for 16 threatened species listed under Commonwealth and State legislation, including the endangered Mulgara, a small but feisty carnivorous marsupial."

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund, Doug Humann, said protecting Australia’s unique but threatened plants and animals in their natural habitat was a key goal of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund.

"The extraordinary mix of species combined with 16 years of scientific research made Cravens Peak a particularly important property for us to buy," Mr Humann said.

Former owner, Gordon McDonald, is pleased to be handing the station on to Bush Heritage: "I’m very impressed with what the Bush Heritage Fund is planning because all the flora and fauna will be looked after. I’m very happy," he said.

Australian Bush Heritage is a private land conservation business. It operates as an independent, non-profit organisation for purchase and protection of land of outstanding conservation value. Cravens Peak Station is its largest acquisition. The new reserve management team began work today.

Senator Campbell welcomed the acquisition as an excellent example of private philanthropy.

"I am very pleased the Australian Government has been able to support this important initiative by the Australian Bush Heritage Fund to acquire Cravens Peak property as part of our national system of protected areas," Senator Campbell said.

The Australian Government funding came through the Natural Heritage Trust. More than 20 million hectares is protected under the National Reserve System.

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell’s office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Alexandra de Blas (Australian Bush Heritage Fund) 0427 545 834

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