The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (the Act) was amended in 1987 to create a regional reserve category. This allows for the development of multiple-use reserves with a conservation function. Any wildlife or the natural or historic features of the land can be conserved and at the same time, the natural resources of the land can be utilised.
There are 7 regional reserves proclaimed under the Act:
Chowilla Regional Reserve
Chowilla was proclaimed on 8 April 1993 and comprises 75,036 hectares. The reserve is located approximately 250 km north-east of Adelaide and 50 km north-east of Renmark. It protects and conserves a semi-arid environment adjacent to the Murray River. The dominant land uses of the reserve are pastoral production, conservation of natural and historic features and tourism/recreation.
Innamincka Regional Reserve
Innamincka was proclaimed on 22 December 1988 and comprises 1,354,506 hectares. The reserve is located 860 km north-east of Adelaide on the border between South Australia and Queensland, in one of the most arid landscapes in Australia. The reserve protects arid wetlands of the Cooper Creek system. The dominant land uses of the reserve are conservation of wildlife, landscape and historic features, petroleum production, tourism and pastoral production. Read more about Innamincka Regional Reserve.
Lake Frome Regional Reserve
Lake Frome was proclaimed on 19 December 1991 and comprises 259,615 hectares. The reserve lies between the southern Strzelecki Desert to the east and the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park to the west. The reserve was proclaimed to extend the conservation management of the adjoining Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park. It conserves a large arid salt lake system that is of regional geological significance. The dominant land use of the reserve is biological and cultural conservation.
Nullarbor Regional Reserve
Nullarbor was proclaimed on 31 August 1989 and comprises 2,281,244 hectares. It is located 1,000 km north-west of Adelaide on the border between South Australia and Western Australia and lies north of the Great Australian Bight and south of the Trans-Australian Railway. The reserve conserves the largest semi-arid karst landscape in the world and environments of the Nullarbor Plain. It conserves endemic cave-dwelling species and other endangered wildlife, including one of the largest populations of the southern hairy-nosed wombat in Australia. The dominant land uses of the reserve are conservation of the wildlife, landscape and historic features, mineral exploration and tourism.
Simpson Desert Regional Reserve
Simpson Desert was proclaimed on 22 December 1988 and comprises 2,919,123 hectares. The reserve is situated in the remote north of South Australia abutting the Witjira National Park on the western boundary and the Simpson Desert Conservation Park. It conserves a variety of landforms including dunal systems, extensive playa lakes and associated vegetation and wildlife. The dominant land uses of the reserve are biological conservation and recreational tourism. Read more about Simpson Desert Regional Reserve.
Strzelecki Regional Reserve
Strzelecki was proclaimed on 19 December 1991 and comprises 814,203 hectares. The reserve is located in the north-east of South Australia within the Strzelecki Desert. It conserves Strzelecki Desert environments, including the Strzelecki Creek, in the centre of the reserve, which is an overflow of the Cooper Creek and a major feeder stream of Lake Blanche (a shallow freshwater ephemeral lake). The dominant land uses of the reserve are biological conservation, recreational tourism and petroleum exploration and production.
Yellabinna Regional Reserve
Yellabinna was proclaimed on 25 January 1990 and comprises of 2,012,225 hectares. The reserve is located 750 km north-west of Adelaide, lying north and north west of Ceduna and south of the Trans-Australia Railway. It conserves part of a contiguous area of over 4 million ha of largely mallee vegetation with high wilderness values. The Yellabinna Wilderness Protection Area is located north-east of the reserve. The dominant land uses of the reserve are conservation of wildlife, landscape and historic features, mineral exploration and tourism. Read more about the Yellabinna Regional Reserve.