Notification: Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

Boranup Drive showing vegetation along the roadway, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
Boranup Drive, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park -
Photo © Tourism WA

Reserves such as national parks and nature reserves are created under legislation and generally require parliamentary approval to change them.

For these reasons they are referred to as formal conservation reserves.

A forest management plan can establish informal reserves for conservation within State forest and timber reserves for the life of that plan.

The main types of informal reserves are:

  • old-growth forest, protecting all old-growth forest that is not in formal reserves.
  • river and stream zones, protecting corridors of vegetation along rivers and streams.
  • travel route zones, protecting corridors of vegetation along designated roads and the Bibbulmun Track for their aesthetic and social values as well as protecting biodiversity.
  • diverse ecotype zones, protecting sensitive ecosystems such as rock outcrops and wetlands.

Fauna habitat zones provide a rotating source of areas for fauna to recolonise disturbed areas, such as after timber harvesting.

The Conservation and Land Management Act 1984  also provides for forest conservation areas to be proposed. These provide a higher level of security of classification than informal reserves and are used for areas that have some impediment (such as mineral resources) to being considered for a formal reserve category. Forest conservation areas are managed for their biodiversity values and are not available for timber harvesting, but other uses may be permitted, such as wildflower picking, beekeeping, craftwood and firewood collection.