Globally-significant natural springs preserved

Drone shot of Edgbaston Reserve. | Newsreel
A drone shot of the now protected Edgbaston Reserve. | Photo: Supplied by Queensland Government

One the most important natural springs in the world will be preserved with the creation of a wildlife reserve in central Queensland.

Edgbaston Reserve, near Longreach, will become the second property in the State to be declared a special wildlife reserve, which provides the area with national park-level protection.

State Environment Minister Leanne Linard said the Government had reached agreement with Bush Heritage Australia (BHA) and Bidjara Traditional Owners to safeguard the Lake Eyre Basin property.

“Edgbaston Reserve, an around 8000-hectare property north-east of Longreach, is owned by BHA and is home to the most significant natural springs for global biodiversity in the entire Great Artesian Basin and one of the most important in the world,” Minister Linard said.

She said it would be the second special wildlife reserve to be established in Queensland, meaning the environmentally-significant property would be safeguarded against commercial activity under Queensland law for future generations.

“The reserve provides critical habitat for 26 plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world, including one of Australia’s smallest and most threatened freshwater fish, the critically endangered red-finned blue-eye,” she said.

“Edgbaston has also been the cornerstone of many discoveries of new species including 15 types of plants and the yet-to-be-described Edgbaston shrimp and amphipod.”

Minister Linard said special wildlife reserves were established on private land to protect areas with exceptional natural and cultural resources and values.

“They receive legal protection, like national parks, from incompatible land uses including commercial timber harvesting, commercial grazing, and petroleum and mineral resource extraction.”

She said Edgbaston Reserve’s establishment under this category of protected area followed the Queensland Government’s establishment of Pullen Pullen Special Wildlife Reserve in 2020, which was the first protected area of this kind for private land in Australia.

Aerial shot of Edgbaston springs. | Newsreel
An aerial shot of Edgbaston springs. | Photo: Supplied by Queensland Government .