BIG AWARD: BANGALOW conservationist and Big Scrub Landcare president Dr Tony Parkes has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to conservation and the environment.
BIG AWARD: BANGALOW conservationist and Big Scrub Landcare president Dr Tony Parkes has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to conservation and the environment. Contributed

Meet the man working to save endangered species, ecosystems

BANGALOW conservationist and Big Scrub Landcare president Dr Tony Parkes has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to conservation and the environment through the restoration of critically endangered subtropical rainforest in northern New South Wales.

"I am delighted that this award recognises services to conservation,” Dr Parkes said.

"I accept this award on behalf of the many extraordinary people who are dedicated to saving from extinction, Australia's many endangered species and ecosystems, particularly critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest and its rich biodiversity.

"Nationally, I don't think the government or community pays enough attention to the state of our eco-system and what we need to do to protect the animals and landscape.

"Big Scrub is a great demonstration of what can be achieved for the environment when government, community and landholders get behind a conservation project.

Dr. Tony Parkes has been president of Bug Scrub Landcare since co-founding the organisation in 1993.

Their mission is promoting, facilitating and undertaking long-term restoration and ongoing care of critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest.

Over its 25 year history the organisation has worked with more than 60 private landholders, businesses, NSW NPWS, Councils and other government agencies facilitating 55 large scale restoration projects from Grafton to the Qld border restoring more than 600 hectares of land and planting 2million trees.

Under Dr Parkes leadership Big Scrub has also presented 20 annual Big Scrub Rainforest Days with more than 25,000 attendees and published books and comprehensive manuals on rainforest restoration and weed identification and control in subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia.