The Nature Conservation Council of NSW, National Parks Association of NSW and Colong Foundation for Wilderness have welcomed the addition of 2891 hectares of wilderness to the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, about 70km southeast of Armidale on the New England Tablelands.
The new addition links the dramatic Apsley Gorge with the rest of the 120,000 hectare World Heritage‐listed Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. It forms part of the most important stronghold for the endangered Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby.
“The Macleay Gorges wilderness declaration offers hope for the future of the endangered Brush‐tailed Rock Wallaby, and much‐needed protection for other species and this unspoilt landscape,” said Pepe Clarke, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“Garabaldi Rock, a prominent local feature of the newly protected area, is typical of the rugged rocky habitat of the park favoured by this wallaby, which has a local population estimated at 10,000 animals,” said Mr Clarke.
“The new addition is a strategically important acquisition for connectivity conservation and align with the
objectives of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative,” said Kevin Evans, CEO National Parks Association of NSW.
“The additions link two existing sections of National Park, which are important habitat corridors for the
threatened Squirrel Glider, Tiger Quoll and Glossy Black Cockatoo,” said Mr Evans.
“We welcome the declaration of wilderness for the state’s newest national park addition. Its steep rugged
gorge terrain can only be accessed on foot, providing an undisturbed haven for rare and endangered plants,” said Keith Muir, CEO of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
“Eventually the Macleay Gorges Wilderness will extend 80 kilometres from Wollomombi Falls on the Waterfall Way east of Armidale to the Apsley Falls adjoining the Oxley Highway near Walcha. It has taken 30 years, but the last pieces of the marvellous Macleay Gorges and its unique dry rainforests are finally being protected in NSW,” said Mr Muir.
Joint media release: Nature Conservation Council of NSW, National Parks Association of NSW and Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Front page photo: Brush-tailed rock wallaby/Taronga Zoo.