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Spotlight on threatened species conservation

Traditional owners, recovery teams, leading scientists and community advocates will gather in Cairns on   March 9-10 to share their knowledge on how to protect the region's remarkable flora and fauna. 

The NQ Threatened Species Symposium is the second to be held in Cairns following on from the highly successful inaugural event  in 2021. It is being hosted by three Natural Resource Management groups in the Far North - Cape York NRM, Terrain, and Gulf Savannah (known as the NQ NRM Alliance) with support from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment & Water (DCCEEW) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES). 

“This conference aims to bring together recovery teams, government department representatives, NRM groups, Traditional Owners, and local councils to share their commitment to the conservation of threatened species, to build partnerships, to learn from each other and apply new knowledge to their own conservation efforts,” Biodiversity Project Office and a co-organiser of the event, James Dobson, said. 

“Protecting the landscape, plants and animals for future generations is so much a part of our work on the Cape, and we are continually discovering new information about our region’s wealth of unique species.”

Biodiversity manager Toby Eastoe agreed that the Cape York Peninsula had remarkable biological significance, was rich in cultural heritage, and there was still a lot to learn.

“Although much of the biodiversity has yet to be systematically surveyed, Cape York is known to have 3338 terrestrial plant species (379 of which are listed as rare and threatened and 264 of which are only found in Cape York),” he said. 

“Cape York’s diverse fauna includes 60% of Australia’s butterflies, 25% of the frog species, 25% of the reptile species, 50% of the bird species and 33% of the mammals and the richest freshwater fauna in Australia (88 species of fish?, 41 of which are only found in Cape York).

“We have eight of the 110 Priority Species listed on the federal Threatened Species Action Plan 2022-2032 in Cape York including the most important nesting sites in Australia for the iconic Golden-shouldered Parrot and Olive Ridley Turtles. 

“Cape York NRM has long-running programs supporting traditional owners and landholders to monitor and protect these and the other 37 federally-listed and 78 state-listed threatened species on the peninsula,” Toby said. 

The symposium will table discussions on recovery planning and coordination, on-ground actions that can be applied, state and federal priorities and challenges and opportunities for threatened species recovery.

Cape York NRM is proudly supporting both the event and attendance by hosting traditional owners from the Cape York Peninsula who have been working on threatened species conservation on their country and want to share their knowledge.

To learn more about the event visit: