Private nature conservation to the rescue
A vast array of endangered plants, animals and ecological communities are now protected in perpetuity within 85 private conservation reserves thanks to the Nature Conservation Trust. Across 24,669 hectares of breathtaking woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and rainforests, private land owners have taken up the mantle of nature conservation with gusto.
During the past nine years of working in partnership with rural land owners, governments and agencies, the NCT has protected:
- habitat for 11 nationally threatened animal species, including the swift parrot, regent honeyeater and giant barred frog;
- habitat for 63 animals threatened in NSW, including the squirrel glider, gang-gang cockatoo and flame robin, and an endangered population of coastal emus;
- habitat for 23 nationally threatened plant species, including the bordered guinea flower, crimson spider orchid and slender Darling pea;
- habitat for 39 plant species threatened in NSW, including the coolamon and swamp foxglove; and
- 5 nationally threatened and 13 ecological communities threatened in NSW.
More than 85 different ecosystems in total and habitat for over 100 threatened plant and animal species is now guaranteed a more secure future courtesy of the NCT.
Conservation Property Fund and private conservation reserves
Under our efficient Conservation Property Fund, the NCT has purchased 24 properties spanning some 22,000 hectares of high conservation land. Sixteen have been sold to supportive private owners, protecting 19,650 hectares of rural real estate for all time. We are sensitively managing another 2,350 hectares in readiness for sale.
A further 4,864 hectares of precious habitat is protected under conservation land covenants we have negotiated with 61 existing land owners.
Some of these conservation agreements are the result of the NCT collaborating with the Australian and NSW governments, government departments like the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority and various catchment management authorities. The NCT also counts among its valued partners the NSW Environmental Trust, Birds Australia, the Trust for Nature Victoria, and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy.
While the overall habitats or land area that the NCT manages may be considered small, these holdings are crucial to NSW's biodiversity protection. They are helping to restore habitat connectivity with other conservation areas like national parks, and provide a vital link to State forests, travelling stock routes and wildlife corridors.
In many cases, it will be these private conservation reserves that mean the difference between life and death for species confronting habitat loss and climate change.
Take a bow land owners
However, the real heroes of the NCT’s unique conservation model are the private land owners who are the caretakers of these special places and species. Their commitment and passion is inspiring the expansion of ground-breaking conservation land management around the State.