Dataset: Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database (CAPAD) 2008 (Not current release)


The Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database (CAPAD) 2008 provides both spatial and text information about government, Indigenous and privately protected areas for continental Australia. State and Territory conservation agencies supplied data current for various dates between October 2008 and January 2009. This is the seventh version of the database, with previous versions released in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. CAPAD provides a snapshot of protected areas that meet the IUCN definition of a protected area:

"A protected area is an area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means" (IUCN 1994).

The department publishes a summary of the CAPAD data biennially on its website at

Main attributes in the database include:

NAME: the name of the protected area. Gazetted PAs with no name are flagged as "Unnamed" with a reserve number.

TYPE: the type of protected area according to the protected area establishment mechanism.

TYPE_ABBR: the abbreviation of the TYPE.
ACCP=Conservation Covenant
BG=Botanic Gardens (Commonwealth)
CA=Conservation Area
CCA=Coordinated Conservation Area
CCAZ1=CCA Zone 1 National Park
CCAZ3=CCA Zone 3 State Conservation Area
COP=Other Park - Schedule 3, National Parks Act
COR=Coastal Reserve
CP=Conservation Park
CR=Conservation Reserve
FLR=Flora Reserve
FR=Forest Reserve
GR=Game Reserve
HA=Heritage Agreement
HER=Heritage River
HIR=Historical Reserve
HS=Historic Site
HTR=Hunting Reserve
IPA=Indigenous Protected Area
KCR=Karst Conservation Reserve
MAA=Management Agreement Area
MCP=Marine and Coastal Park (National Parks Act Schedule 4)
MR=Miscellaneous Reserve
NAP=Nature Park
NAPA=Nature Park (Aboriginal)
NCA=Natural Catchment Area
NCR=Nature Conservation Reserve
=Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora and Fauna Reserve
=Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora Reserve
=Nature Conservation Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (NCR classification)
=Nature Conservation Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (no hunting)
NFR=Natural Features Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Cave Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Geological Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Gippsland Lakes Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Natural Features and Scenic Reserve)
=Natural Features Reserve - River Murray Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Scenic Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Streamside Reserve
=Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)
=Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (SGR classification)
NP=National Park
NPA=National Park Aboriginal
NPC=National Park (Commonwealth)
NPR=National Park (Recovery)
NPS=National Park (Scientific)
NR=Nature Reserve
NRA=Nature Recreation Area
NREF=Nature Refuge
NRS=NRS Addition - gazettal in progress
OCA=Other Conservation Area
OCA/NAP=Other Conservation Area/Nature Park
OP=Other Park
PA=Protected Area
PNP=Proposed National Park
PNPA=Proposed National Parks Act park or park addition
PNR=Private Nature Reserve
PPP=Permanent Park Preserve
PR=Proposed Reserve
PS=Private Sanctuary
RA=Reference Area
REP=Regional Park
RNA=Remote and Natural Area
RP=Recreation Park
RR=Regional Reserve
RSR=Resources Reserve
S5G=5(1)(g) Reserve
S5H=5(1)(h) Reserve
SCA=State Conservation Area
SP=State Park
SR=State Reserve
TR=Timber Reserve
WA=Wilderness Protected Area
WP=Wilderness Park
WZ=Wilderness Zone
WP=Wilderness Park
WZ=Wilderness Zone

IUCN: the IUCN protected area management category ascribed by the Managing authority, as outlined in the publication: CNPPA/WCMC "Guidelines for Protected Area management categories". Gland: IUCN, 1994. (ISBN: 2-8317-0201-1).

Definitions include:
IA Strict Nature Reserve: managed mainly for science;
IB Wilderness Area: managed mainly for wilderness protection;
II National Park: managed mainly for ecosystem protection;
III Natural Monument: managed mainly for conservation of specific natural features;
IV Habitat / Species Management Area: managed mainly for conservation through management intervention;
V Protected Landscape / Seascape: managed mainly for landscape/seascape conservation and recreation;
VI Managed Resource Protected Area: managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.

GAZ_AREA: area in hectares as described in the nomination document (e.g. parliamentary gazettal), to the nearest hectare. Some protected areas do not have a specific area in the designation.

GIS_AREA: area in hectares based on current spatial data and an Albers equal area projection for Australia. Where protected area consists of multiple polygons (parts) the GIS_AREA is the sum of all the polygons with the same name, type, state and IUCN category.

REPT_AREA: area in hectares from the GAZ_AREA attribute and if this is a null value then the GIS_AREA is used. For Protected areas with multiple records, REPT_AREA is a calculated by dividing GAZ_AREA by GIS_AREA of the total then applying this factor to the GIS_AREA of the record.

GAZ_DATE: the first gazettal or proclamation date that established any protected area at this site.

LATEST_GAZ: the date of the most recent gazettal or proclamation to add land to the protected area. It can be the same date as the GAZ_AREA.

NRS_PA: This attribute indicates the status of the protected area as part of the National Reserve System (NRS). "Y" = a protected area located within the State and Territory jurisdiction. "X" = a protected area located within an Australian external territory (e.g. Christmas Island). "I" = an interim protected area - in the process of being gazetted/established. "N" = a protected area that does not meet the NRS criteria.

STATE: The state is the state that the protected area is located in. COM = protected areas located in Australian external territories.

AUTHORITY: The Authority responsible for the management of the protected area mechanism.
ACT_TAMS: ACT - Territory and Municipal Services
AWC:Australian Wildlife Conservancy
DEC: WA Department of Environment and Conservation
DECC: NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change
DERM: Qld Department of Environment and Resource Management
DEWHA: Department of the Environment and Energy, Heritage, Water and the Arts
DEWHA-AAD: Department of the Environment and Energy, Heritage, Water and the Arts Australian Antarctic Division
DSE: VIC Department of Sustainability and Environment
Forests NSW
LHI Board: Lord Howe Island Board
NSW NPWS: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
NT_PWS: NT Parks and Wildlife Service
SA_DEH: SA Department of Environment and Heritage
SA_FRST: Forestry SA
TAS_DPIW: TAS Department of Primary Industries and Water
TAS_FT: Forestry Tasmania
TAS_PWS: TAS Parks and Wildlife Service
TAS_WPMT: Wellington Park Management Trust

DATASOURCE: Describes the source of the data for the protected area, values are:
ACT_TAMS: ACT - Territory and Municipal Services
DEWHA: Department of the Environment and Energy, Water, Heritage and the Arts
DEWHA_NRSP: Department of the Environment and Energy, Water, Heritage and the Arts National Reserve System Program
NRETAS: NT Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport
NSW_DECC: NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change
QLD_DERM: Qld Department of Environment and Resource Management
SA_DEH: SA Dept. of Environment and Heritage
TAS DPIW: Tasmania Department of Primary Industries and Water
VIC_DSE: Department of Environment and Sustainability
WA_GOV: Department of Environment and Conservation

GOVERNANCE: Determines if the protected area is government, Indigenous, joint or privately managed.

ENVIRON: A protected area gazetted as terrestrial may have a marine component and vice versa. A PROTECTED AREA can be 'T' terrestrial, marine 'M' and both 'B'

OVERLAP: Shows whether or not the protected area is overlapped by another. Protected areas with a value of '1' are the primary protected area in that area. A protected area with a value of '2' is completely overlapped by another protected area.

X_COORD: is the longitude in decimal degrees east within the object closest to the centre of the object using the Geodetic Datum of Australia 1994.

Y_COORD: is the latitude in decimal degrees south within the object closest to the centre of the object using the Geodetic Datum of Australia 1994.

OBJECTID *, Shape *, SHAPE.AREA and SHAPE.LEN are automatically generated ESRI attributesCC - Attribution (CC BY)
This data has been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. More information can be found at
The data is supplied to the Commonwealth for compilation by States and Territories of Australia and custodianship rests with the source agencies. A list of the agencies is available in the acknowledgements section of the metadata entry.

The CAPAD data is supplied to the Commonwealth for compilation over a 6-12 month time frame and many months may pass before it is published and thus is not up-to-date at the time of publication and release by the Commonwealth.

It is the responsibility of the person using the CAPAD dataset to always check the metadata for the currency date within each jurisdiction and if required seek advice from the individual agencies on details of more recent gazettals of protected areas.

Due to privacy issues in relation to some covenants on private lands, these data in some jurisdictions are not included in the spatial data, but are included in the published CAPAD summary statistics. The National Reserve System Section can advise in which bioregions this is likely to be an issue.

Licence type changed to Creative Commons By Attribution on 9 June 2016
© Commonwealth of Australia (Department of the Environment and Energy) 2016

General Information