SOUTH Australia's newest conservation park has come into being at Ettrick, northeast of Murray Bridge.
The 484-hectare park was proclaimed on October 31 with the passage of legislation through the State Parliament.
Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the park would be an important refuge for species such as malleefowl and regent parrot.
"Most of the park is open mallee, which is made up of several species of eucalypt, but it is also home to one of the few remaining examples of tussock grassland in this part of the Murray-Darling Basin," he said.
"This area is listed as critically endangered, so it's vital we do everything we can to protect it."
It is also home to birds including the shy heathwren, hooded robin, white-winged chough, jacky winter, restless flycatcher and painted buttonquail.
Prospecting, exploration and mining will still be allowed in the park, but only under strict conditions.
Any mining company with an interest in the land would only be allowed to proceed if environmental and cultural damage were minimised and environmental rehabilitation plans submitted, and only with the approval of the Environment Minister.
Around one fifth of South Australia's land area is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, including 197,000 hectares of land added to the parks system since 2002 and 2.2 million hectares given a higher level of protection.