Taunton National Park

Taunton National Park (Scientific) in central Queensland is a designated scientific national park due to its importance in ensuring the persistence of the threatened bridled nailtail wallaby.

Thought to be extinct by the 1940s, the wallaby was rediscovered at Taunton in 1973. Today its only wild (non-translocated) population resides in the 11,626-hectare park that is closed to the public.

Since the wallaby was rediscovered, there have been changes in vegetation in and around the park, caused by cattle grazing, land clearing and the spread of introduced grass. Most of the wallaby's habitat in central Queensland was part of the Brigalow Scheme, which saw millions of hectares of brigalow (Acacia) forest cleared to make way for rangelands and agriculture from the 1950s to the 1970s.

The scheme left a legacy of environmental problems, including the decline of rich biodiversity. Today, brigalow ecosystems are listed nationally as endangered ecological communities. Brigalow forest at Taunton supports several threatened plants and animals.

Taunton National Park offers opportunities to examine the often-controversial management of conservation problems in Australia's rangelands, to study the impact of invasive and introduced species such as buffel grass on floristic diversity, and to see the results of predator control efforts.