One of Australia's biggest cattle producers has teamed up with a wildlife conservation group to protect its six million hectares across northern Australia.
The North Australian Pastoral Company has joined with Australian Wildlife Conservancy to place its holdings under conservation land management.
NAPCo has a long history of making such deals after entering into a formal partnership with Bush Heritage Australia more than a decade ago.
The Queensland-headquartered company says it has been committed to sustainable environmental management for over a century.
The historic pastoral company operates 14 cattle properties in Queensland and the Northern Territory with the Queensland government the majority owner.
The company's biggest station is Alexandria on the Barkly Tableland which takes in 1.64 million hectares in the NT and breeds and grows weaners for its Wainui feedlot in Queensland.
The deal doubles the amount of land under AWC's conservation reach to 12.5 million hectares.
The deal means the two organisations commit to protect and enhance biodiversity across NAPCo's six million hectare estate.
NAPCo has already set aside 395,794 hectares as dedicated nature refuges.
NAPCo's chief executive Allan Cooney said the partnership would demonstrate to the rest of the world sustainable and commercial pastoralism can operate hand in hand.
" ....better outcomes for biodiversity can be achieved, by working together. The success of this partnership is very important," Mr Cooney said.
MORE READING: Most northerly station to become national park.
AWC chief executive Tim Allard said while pastoralism and conservation may have been viewed as unusual bedfellows in the past, pragmatic, unconventional partnerships such as these are crucial for unlocking conservation at scale.
Around 427 million hectares (or about 55 per cent) of the Australian continent is used for pastoralism and agriculture.
Mr Allard said an integrated approach was expected to generate positive outcomes for conservation as well as for pastoral productivity, providing incentives for all parties.
"By joining forces with NAPCo we have a great opportunity to magnify the impact of our actions for the benefit of biodiversity," he said.
"Collaboration and innovation across science, research and land management are crucial if we are to secure the survival of Australia's wildlife and restore our natural capital."
AWC scientists estimate that NAPCo properties likely support up to 760 vertebrate species - of which 15 are listed as threatened.
These include the Plains Wanderer, Southern Snapping Turtle, Kowari and the tiny Collared Delma.
Several NAPCo properties in south-west Queensland support some of the last remaining wild populations of the Greater Bilby.
Don't miss out on all the latest rural property news. Sign up here to receive our new and free weekly Farmonline property newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.