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Australasian Plant Conservation

Originally published in Australasian Plant Conservation 20(1) June - August 2011, p 2

From the Editor

Selga Harrington
Parsons Brinckerhoff

The theme for this issue of Australasian Plant Conservation is ‘Mechanisms for plant conservation on private land’. National Parks and other public reserves account for a small fraction of all land in Australia and many vulnerable plants, animals and critical habitats exist only on private land. For this reason conservation on private property is critical to the ongoing survival of Australia’s biodiversity and without it much of Australia’s biodiversity would be under significant threat and could be lost.

Both government and non-government organisations are working towards encouraging landholders to take steps to conserve some or all of the natural features of their properties. A range of private conservation mechanisms have been developed in the hope that more of Australia’s biodiversity can be preserved.

In this issue of Australasian Plant Conservation, we explore the conservation mechanisms being used to help achieve plant conservation on private land, including land purchase and/or management by bodies such as the Trust for Nature, Bush Heritage, and other non-government organisations such as Tasmanian Land Conservancy and National Parks Association; the implementation of wildlife refuges, the use of Voluntary Conservation Agreements and Conservation Covenants as well as the operation of Conservation Management Networks.

The articles commence with an overview, written by Paul Foreman, of Bush Heritage and their work in buying properties for conservation management across the country. This is followed by two articles on threatened species conservation in south east Queensland and northern NSW, the first by Paul Donatiu on the conserving the rare flora of the Granite Belt in Southern Queensland and the second, by Maria Matthes outlining the work of Macadamia Conservation Trust and the Australian Macadamia Society in protecting threatened Macadamia species.

The work of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, a non-profit conservation organization, is described by Matthew Taylor, including their approach to conservation on private land which includes acquisition of land to be kept and managed as private permanent reserves or protected by conservation covenants and then resold, as well as Partnerships set up with the State Government to promote and facilitate voluntary conservation agreements.

We then take a closer look at conservation mechanisms in Victoria through an article by Doug Robinson and colleagues on the conservation work of Trust for Nature achieved through the delivery of voluntary, perpetual conservation covenants on private land; the purchase and management of land; or donation of land to the Crown. This is followed by an article by Trish Fox on the Gippsland Plains Conservation Management Network, focusing on conservation of Grassy Box Woodland.

We then move to the ACT and southern NSW to explore the conservation mechanisms used there, with a particular focus on conservation of Grassy Box Woodland. This includes an overview of conservation on leasehold land in the ACT by Geoff King; a personal account of setting up a wildlife refuge by Adrian Fethers and Maya Beretta; Greening Australia’s Whole of Paddock rehabilitation program by Jason Cummings and colleagues and an exploration of the work of the Catchment Management Network’s cross property biodiversity planning by Toni McLeish.

The themed articles are followed by two additional articles. The first, written by Toby Golson, describes how conservation partnerships have been built between the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra with botanic gardens in Queensland (Gladstone Tondoon Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens) as well as the Mackay Branch of the Society for Growing Australian Plants, to help conserve rare and endangered plants of the Far North Queensland and Mackay region through the creation of a dispersed national collection. The final article of this issue explores the successes of a collaborative project aimed to establish an ethnoecological database of plants, animals and health of the Paruku Indigenous Protected Area in the Kimberley region and the intricate nature of traditional knowledge.

The issue concludes with our regular features: Zoë Smith’s report from the USA, Report from New Zealand Plant Conservation Network, Research Roundup; a book review, Information Resources and Useful Websites and Conferences.

It’s a bumper issue for you to enjoy on the long cold winter evenings.