Conservation reserves are areas of land which are specially set aside under law to protect some environmental value inherent in them. Development in and use of conservation reserves is usually restricted to only those activities which are compatible with conservation of these environmental values. In WA, conservation reserves include national parks, conservation parks and nature reserves. Conservation reserves are also sometimes collectively called the “conservation estate”.

Conservation reserves in WA account for about 20 million hectares of Western Australia’s total land area, and host a complex ecosystem with a wide diversity of plants and animals. These reserves contain some of the State’s most significant natural and cultural heritage assets.

This Fact Sheet examines the different types of conservation reserves that are created in WA, how they are protected, and what activities can be carried out in them.

For information on management of marine reserves, see Fact Sheet: Marine reserves, for State forests, see Fact Sheet: State forests and timber reserves and for Crown land and other types of reserves, see Fact Sheet: Crown land management.