This week, the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW announced that it reached its stated goal of protecting 50,000 hectares of land on private property by the end of 2015.

The size of this land equates to 3.5 times the size of Royal National Park and was achieved through the persistent efforts of the NCT to work with landowners to place conservation covenants on their properties in a bid to protect threatened species and ecosystems.

Chair of the NCT, John V McCarthy AO noted that, in the past five years, “interest in private land conservation has increased significantly”.

“We were able to reach our target of 50,000 hectares only through the outstanding efforts of private land owners,” he said.

Included in the 50,000 hectares was the 22,000 hectares at Mawonga Station, which was handed back to the local Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people, becoming Indigenous Protected Area in September last year.

Mawonga, a Western Lands lease property between Griffith and Cobar in central western NSW, adjoins both the Yathong and Nombinnie Nature Reserves. The combined properties (190,000 hectares) incorporates one of the most significant reserves of mallee in NSW. Located in the Cobar Peneplain bioregion, the landscape is under-represented in Australia’s National Reserve System.