Tropical Wetlands

The Tropical Wetlands Shared Earth Reserve is Forever Wild’s first reserve. Covering a core 5000acres, the reserve is adjacent to the Hann Tableland National Park and contiguous with vast cattle stations spanning >300,000 acres. The Tropical Wetlands is a truly incredible property with key qualities for our Wildlife, Economies and Human Spirit program areas.

The reserve has permanent lakes, swamps and creeks and an incredible mosaic of old-growth savanna woodland. The landscape holds one of the highest mammal diversities in the Cape York region, over 220 species of birds and diverse elements from Aboriginal and early settler European culture.

The Indigenous people of this area are the Muluridgi, and we are proudly working with them to reconnect with this landscape.

Wilderness Values

The Tropical Wetlands SER property is a mix of wetlands and a rich mosaic of old-growth savanna woodland. The woodlands and wetlands have a very high biomass and are considered a net contributor to carbon storage.

Human Spirit

The Tropical Wetlands SER protects areas of significant cultural heritage, such as intact section of the Hodgkinson Goldfields track, and important Indigenous sites, Forever Wild uses Tropical Wetlands to provide access to support programs for disadvantaged youth and mental & emotional health for vulnerable people. The property is also used to support Forever Wild’s Wilderness Arts program, with a diverse array of very low-key, nature-oriented music events planned each year.


Wildlife on Tropical Wetlands SER is incredibly diverse, and the property has some of the highest avian diversity anywhere in Australia. Boasting over 220 species recorded, the highest bird count in a single day is 98 species. We know the property is critical habitat for Buff Breasted Button Quail, one of the world rarest birds, and there is a healthy population of the endangered Northern Quoll. The property acts as a critical resource for wildlife during the dry periods from May – November. Ecological management of the Reserve is based on extensive science and applied knowledge.

Wilderness Economies

The local economic input from this reserve is substantial. Low impact tours are led by three companies for human beings to connect with spectacular starscapes, isolated camping and nature photography. There are strict limits on the number of visitors allowed. These tours employ local people in local jobs. Conservation agriculture is an important component of this reserve. Low-impact cattle grazing is operated in partnership with an experienced, local family pastoral company. Grazing also assists to manage invasive grass species, many of which create a fire risk that destroys the woodlands if left unchecked.

These activities fund the Reserve management and our local community programs, including annual community concerts.

Special Values

The Tropical Wetlands SER is where the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, is located. This facility also has staff and visiting researcher accommodation and as it develops it will cement its place as one of the world’s leading veterinary and wildlife rehabilitation facilities for wilderness species.

Forever Wild recognises the Nevard family who were instrumental in creating the reserve in 1995.