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An area larger than Germany has been closed off to protect endangered animals
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An area larger than Germany has been closed off to protect endangered animals

The Australian government announced Monday that it plans to triple the size of an environmentally important marine park, and close an area larger than Germany to fishing and mining, to protect millions of endangered birds and marine animals.

Macquarie Island is home to king penguinsSource: Shutterstock / Andreanitsa

Macquarie Island Marine Park, located off the southeastern coast of Australia between Tasmania and Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, is set to extend to 475,465 square kilometres. He writes CNN.

About 93% of the park will be a full marine reserve, and will be cut off from hunting, mining and other extractive activities, according to Australian Environment Minister Tanya Plebersek.

Macquarie Island, a World Heritage Site, is home to millions of endangered seabirds and endangered wildlife, including nesting albatrosses, elephant seals, fur seals, whales, and several species of penguins.

“I want to protect our oceans for the sake of our children and grandchildren. This declaration is part of our mission to protect special places in Australia, especially those that shelter endangered species,” Plebersk said in a statement.

The protection of elephant seals is very important on the islandSource: Shutterstock / Samuel Bloch

Environmental groups have welcomed the expansion of the marine park, seeing it as a major victory for marine life in the area. They added that these animals get all of their food from the waters around Macquarie Island, and that protecting this area almost entirely will help protect these species for future generations.

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