Ownership of protected areas 

Ownership of protected areas map

Ownership of protected areas

Ownership map (PDF - 1.23 MB)

Nearly two thirds of the protected area estate on mainland Australia is publicly owned and managed by the Australian government or state and territory governments. These are included in over 10,400 protected areas covering more than 118 million hectares or 15.45 per cent of Australia.

Indigenous community owned and managed lands are protected as Indigenous Protected Areas in Australia. They form the second largest component of the National Reserve System covering 4.75 per cent of Australia.

There are 2690 protected areas on private land covering one per cent of Australia; they perform an important role in protecting biodiversity value on private land in the agricultural and pastoral regions of Australia.

Governance of protected areas (source: CAPAD 2012)
Governance Number of protected areas Total area (ha) Proportion of total protected area Percent of Australia Average size (ha)
Indigenous

52

36,423,190

30.66%

4.74%

700,446

Government

7408

65,924,551

55.50%

8.57%

8,899

Joint

153

8,482,120

7.14%

1.10%

55,439

Private

2690

7,951,103

6.69%

1.03%

2,956

Total

10303

118,780,965

100%

15.45%

11,529

State and territory levels of protection (source: CAPAD 2012)
Region Area (ha) NRS (ha) % of the NRS Proportion Number of areas Average size (ha)
ACT 235,813 129,686 55.00% 0.11% 45 2,882
NSW 80,121,268 7,255,355 9.06% 6.11% 924 7,852
NT 134,778,762 25,365,918 18.82% 21.36% 105 241,580
QLD 172,973,671 12,948,84 7.49% 10.90% 1,065 12,159
SA 98,422,137 29,371,586 29.84% 24.73% 1,957 15,008
TAS 6,840,133 2,905,460 42.48% 2.45% 1,472 1,974
VIC 22,754,364 4,069,852 17.89% 3.43% 3,019 1,348
WA 252,700,808 36,692,110 14.52% 30.89% 1,697 21,622
Australia 768,826,956 118,780,965 15.45% 100.00% 10,303 11,529