Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. The National Reserve System is underpinned by a scientific framework to ensure the protection of examples from all our ecosystems, with their distinctive flora, fauna and landscapes. The scientific framework has a clear objective: to develop a 'comprehensive, adequate and representative' 'CAR' system of protected areas.
Specifically this means:
- Comprehensive: the inclusion in the National Reserve System of examples of regional-scale ecosystems in each bioregion
- Adequate: the inclusion of sufficient levels of each ecosystem within the protected area network to provide ecological viability and to maintain the integrity of populations, species and communities
- Representative: the inclusion of areas at a finer scale, to encompass the variability of habitat within ecosystems
Development of the National Reserve System is based on science.
Australia's bioregions (IBRA)
The National Reserve System uses scientific data to identify priority areas for biodiversity conservation.
Protected area data (CAPAD)
The Collaborative Australian Protected Area Database, CAPAD, provides a national perspective on the conservation of biodiversity in protected areas and helps Australia to report on the status of protected areas
Maps and data
Maps and data showing the locations, extent and management of the National Reserve System.