Protected areas of Australia

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Protected areas of Australia include Commonwealth and off-shore protected areas managed by the Australian government, as well as protected areas within each of the six states of Australia and two self-governing territories (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory), which are managed by the eight state and territory governments.

Commonwealth and off-shore protected areas in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, the Christmas Island Territory, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Territory, the Norfolk Island Territory and the Australian Antarctic Territory are managed by Parks Australia, a division of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources, with the exception of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a separate body within the department.

Protected areas cover 895,288 km² of Australia's land area, or about 11.5% of the total land area. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest level of protection at nearly 55% of its territory, followed by Tasmania with nearly 40% and South Australia with 25%. Lowest level of protection is in Queensland and the Northern Territory with less than 6%.[1] Of all protected ares, two-thirds are considered strictly protected (IUCN categories I to IV), and the rest is mostly managed resources protected area (IUCN category VI). Over 80% of the protected area in Australia is publicly owned and managed by the Australian government or state and territory governments. The second largest component of protected areas are the Indigenous Protected Areas while only 0.3% are privately owned.[2]

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