Private Land Conservation Outcomes

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368 landholders

have signed or are in the process of signing conservation agreements

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Over 195,000 hectares

under new private land conservation agreements

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More than $156.8 million

assets held to support conservation agreements

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122 threatened species & 22 ecological communities

protected by conservation agreements with the BCT

What We Do
Benefits for Landholders

Landholder Helen Huggins recently signed an in-perpetuity conservation agreement with the BCT for her property, Savernake Station. Here she talks from the heart about the significance of protecting her land for conservation.

Private Land Conservation Outcomes

To find out more about the total number of private land conservation (PLC) agreements in NSW, please visit our Private Land Conservation in NSW page. To find out more about the support we provide to existing landholders with PLC agreements, visit our Landholder Support Program page

In total, the BCT is currently managing 2,208 PLC agreements with landholders over more than 2.277 million hectares. This represents over 2.8 per cent of the landmass of NSW.

This page summarises the additional PLC agreements added to the private protected area system since the BCT commenced operations in August 2017. 

So far, 368 landholders have signed or plan to sign a conservation agreement with the BCT, creating conservation areas across 195,000 hectares. The BCT is investing more than $156.8 million to support these agreements. This investment is split 80% for in-perpetuity agreements and 20% for term agreements (minimum 15-years). Landholders with funded agreements are typically being paid between $5 and $421 per hectare per annum to manage these conservation areas.

As a result, many unique landscapes, many threatened ecosystems, and habitats for our threatened native plant and animal species are now protected and being managed by private landholders for conservation. The BCT has previously reported a higher number of threatened species and threatened ecological communities (TECs). An audit revealed that some had been double counted. The BCT has now verified that our new agreements protect at least 122 unique threatened species and at least 22 TECs. Our new agreements are likely to have protected several more TECs as we have not yet verified the numbers for our partnership conservation agreements or for 5 of 13 conservation tenders. The BCT will update these numbers once all data has been verified.

Landholders with partnership conservation agreements are eligible to apply for Conservation Partners Grants. To date, the BCT has approved grants worth $6 million to 321 landholders over 64,000 hectares.

The BCT has therefore invested in 259,000 hectares of conservation areas to date.

Priority Investment Areas

The Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy 2018  maps areas of the state into five orders of priority, known as Priority Investment Areas 1 to 5, which guides the BCT’s investment priorities. To date the BCT has entered conservation agreements with landholders over 6,026 hectares of PIA 1 land, 34,126 hectares of PIA 2 land and 10,007 hectares of PIA 3 land.

To learn more about our priority investment areas and to view our Program Implementation Plan, click the below link.

Conservation Management Program 

Protecting NSW Landscapes

Target 1 in the BCIS states: By 2023, private land conservation agreements will protect examples of 30 NSW Landscapes that are either not represented within, or are inadequately protected in, the protected area system in 2017.

The BCT met Target 1 in February 2019, four years early. So far, new conservation agreements are protecting examples of 9 NSW Landscapes that were not previously represented within the protected area system and 99 NSW Landscapes that are inadequately protected. Under the Biodiversity Offsets Program the BCT has protected one NSW Landscape that was not previously represented within the protected area system and 22 NSW Landscapes that are inadequately protected.

Reaching Target 1 means that the BCT has contributed progress towards meeting CAR targets. However, this does not mean these NSW Landscapes are now adequately protected or that CAR targets have been met. The BCT will now focus on achieving Target 3, to sample a further 90 unique, inadequately-protected NSW Landscapes. 

Diversifying Incomes

Target 3 in the BCIS states: By 2023, diversified incomes streams will improve the financial sustainability of participating landholders relative to similar local businesses.

Under funded conservation agreements, 152 landholders have received annual payments worth $8.2 million over the past 12 months to manage 87,935 hectares of conservation areas (an average of $53,947 per annum per landholder or $93 per annum per hectare) providing these landholders with an additional source of income. 

Many of the highest priority investment areas identified in the BCIS are in the NSW sheep-wheat belt, which stretches the length of the state from the Queensland border to the Victorian border. These areas are our agricultural heartland and support most of the cereal-growing areas and much of the irrigated farmlands of New South Wales. These areas have been extensively cleared for grazing and cropping and there is a relatively low proportion of land in the protected area system. Therefore, the BCT is directing most of its investment in funded conservation agreements in this high-priority part of NSW.

As a result, around two-thirds (66%) of the BCT’s investment in funded conservation agreements is flowing to graziers, farmers or mixed farming enterprises. These farmers are being paid by the BCT to manage parts of their properties for conservation. The BCT has also invested in threatened grasslands in the Monaro and in high-priority koala habitat on the North Coast.

A December 2020 survey showed 69 per cent of 141 participating landholders with a funded conservation agreement agreed that signing an agreement with the BCT had diversified their income (with 15% unsure/neutral and 15% disagreeing).

Conservation Partners Program - Outcomes To Date

The BCT’s Conservation Partners Program is for landholders wishing to protect and manage biodiversity on their land. It is available for landholders who are ineligible to participate in the Conservation Management Program or not seeking a funded agreement.

CPP Dashboard - 30 June 2022

Landholder Applications

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185 conservation agreements & 12 wildlife refuge

agreements signed by landholders with the BCT

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38,564 hectares

of land under conservation

Landholders wishing to permanently protect and conserve biodiversity on their land can apply to enter an in-perpetuity conservation agreement with the BCT at any time. A wildlife refuge agreement is an option for landholders who wish to protect their land but do not want to enter a permanent agreement. The BCT has received over 650 applications and we have ramped up our capacity to respond to this demand.

These agreements include many threatened species of fauna such as the grey-headed flying-fox, the glossy black-cockatoo, the brush-tailed phascogale, the Southern pink underwing moth and the koala, and threatened species of flora including the native milkwort, square-fruited ironbark, sandstone rough-barked apple, Wee Jasper grevillea, and the Southern ochrosia.

Revolving Fund

To date, the BCT has revolved two properties and is currently in the process of selling another four properties under the Conservation Partners Program.

Conservation Partners Grants

All landholders with an agreement that does not include annual conservation payments can apply at any time for a conservation partners grant. Grants can assist landholders to maintain the ecological values of their properties. Find out more.

The BCT is assessing grant applications on an ongoing basis. To date, the BCT has approved grants worth $6 million to 321 landholders over 64,000 hectares.

Conservation Management Program - Outcomes To Date

The BCT’s Conservation Management Program is for landholders in priority investment areas or with conservation assets seeking to enter agreements with annual conservation management payments. The BCT uses a range of mechanisms—conservation tendersfixed price offers and revolving fund —to encourage landholders to participate.

CMP dashboard
Conservation Management Program Outcomes

Fixed Price Offers

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35 conservation agreements

in BCT’s first five rounds of fixed price offers

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74,089 hectares

of land covered by conservation agreements

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$14-$60 per hectare per annum

paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

These conservation areas contain endangered ecological communities such as Semi-evergreen Vine Thicket, Inland Grey Box Woodland, and White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland.

Revolving Fund

To date, the BCT has revolved nine properties and entered funded conservation agreements with the new landholders. The BCT is currently in the process of selling another one properties under the Conservation Management Program.

Conservation Tenders

BCT conservation tenders have so far resulted in 127 conservation agreements over 77,342 hectares of high-conservation value land and ecological assets across the state. 

The BCT has completed conservation tenders in the below regions.

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19 conservation agreements

in Northern Tablelands

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4,500 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the regent honeyeater are protected by these agreements

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$46 to $205 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains priority NSW Landscapes, including Moonbi–Walcha Granites, Niangala Plateau and Slopes, and Dingo Spur Meta-sediments, and hosts threatened fauna species such as the koala, regent honeyeater, squirrel glider and scarlet robin.

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15 conservation agreements

in Murray Riverina

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5,890 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the plains-wanderer are protected by these agreements

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$21 to $120 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains seven priority NSW Landscapes and two endangered ecological communities that provide habitat for five threatened species, including the critically endangered plains-wanderer. 

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13 conservation agreements

in Central Tablelands

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3,255 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the spotted-tailed quoll are protected by these agreements

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$59 to $229 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains precious habitat such as Inland Grey Box Woodland and White Box–Yellow Box–Blakely’s Red Gum critically endangered ecological community, and is home to a variety of threatened fauna, including the turquoise parrot, superb parrot, powerful owl, koala, spotted-tailed quoll, grey-crowned babbler, varied sittella and scarlet robin.

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5 conservation agreements

in priority Koala habitat in the Port Macquarie area

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173 hectares

of priority Koala habitat covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the square-tailed kite are protected by these agreements

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$423 to $1182 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains important Koala habitat and vegetation communities. It is also home to threatened species including the Wallum froglet, masked owl, square-tailed kite, glossy black-cockatoo, black-necked stork, spotted-tailed quoll, brushtailed phascogale, squirrel glider, common blossom-bat, little bent-wing bat and dwarf heath casuarina.

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11 conservation agreements

in Monaro Grasslands

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1,829 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the grassland earless dragon are protected by the agreements

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$164 to $300 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains natural temperate grasslands that provide habitat for several state and nationally threatened species including the pink-tailed worm-lizard, striped legless lizard, small purple-pea, button wrinklewort, Monaro golden daisy, Austral toadflax and the grassland earless dragon.

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6 conservation agreements

in North West Plains

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1,418 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened ecological communities

including the Coolibah-Black Box Woodland are protected by these agreements

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$75 to $423 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains priority NSW Landscapes, and Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) such as Coolibah-Black Box Woodland in the Darling Riverine Plains, Brigalow Belt South, Cobar Peneplain and Mulga Lands Bioregions. Threatened species now protected by these agreements include the black-striped wallaby, powerful owl and red-tailed black-cockatoo.

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9 conservation agreements

in South West Slopes

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3,183 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened ecological communities

including the Sandhill Pine Woodland are protected by these agreements

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$42 to $219 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

These contain several priority NSW Landscapes and threatened ecological communities such as Inland Grey Box Woodland, White Box Yellow Box Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland and Sandhill Pine Woodland, that provide habitat for a variety of threatened species, including the superb parrot, glossy black-cockatoo, squirrel glider and the critically endangered swift parrot.

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3 conservation agreements

in Lachlan Corridor

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1,358 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the eastern pygmy-possum are protected by these agreements

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$234 to $381 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains important riparian vegetation, protecting stands of ancient River Red Gums which provide habitat and hollows for threatened birds, bats and arboreal mammals. Fauna reliant on this vegetation include the superb parrot, bush stone-curlew, eastern pygmy-possum and barking owl.

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5 conservation agreements

in priority koala habitat in the Lismore/Ballina area

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82 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the koala are protected by these agreements

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$120 to $1637 per hectare per annum

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contain important koala habitat, as well as threatened ecological communities including Sub-tropical Coastal Floodplain Forest, and Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains. This area is also home to threatened species including the sooty owl, squirrel glider and grey-crowned babbler. 

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9 conservation agreements

in the Macquarie River area north-west of Dubbo

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3,900 hectares

of land covered by these agreements

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Threatened ecological communities

including the Poplar Box Grassy Woodland are protected by these agreements

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$47 to $308 per hectare per year

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains important wetlands as it is adjacent to the internationally-significant Macquarie Marshes, as well as grassy woodlands that are under threat. Threatened ecological communities in the area include:

  • Myall Woodland in the Darling Riverine Plains, Brigalow Belt South, Cobar Peneplain, Murray-Darling Depression, Riverina and NSW South Western Slopes bioregions.
  • Inland Grey Box Woodland in the Riverina, NSW South Western Slopes, Cobar Peneplain, Nandewar and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions.
  • Poplar Box Grassy Woodland on Alluvial Plains.
  • Coolibah-Black Box Woodland in the Darling Riverine Plains, Brigalow Belt South, Cobar Peneplain and Mulga Lands Bioregions.
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7 conservation agreements

in the Southern Highlands

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2,579 hectares

of land with koala habitat protected by these agreements

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Threatened ecological communities

including the Southern highlands shale woodlands are protected by these agreements

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$178 to $325 per hectare per year

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The area covered by these agreements contains important Koala habitat and includes locally significant, preferred feed trees. By securing koala habitat on private land, the agreements improve connectivity and facilitate movement between formal reserves.

The conservation areas include stands of Robertson Basalt Tall Open-Forest and Southern highlands shale woodlands which are threatened ecological communities, and supports populations of threatened or vulnerable species including: the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), gang gang cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum), glossy black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami), flame robin (Petroica phoenicea), yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis), soft geebung (Persoonia mollis subsp. revoluta) and Camden woollybutt (Eucalyptus macarthurii). 

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6 conservation agreements

in the South Eastern Highlands

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944 hectares

of critically endangered Snow Gum Woodlands and Grasslands protected in the South Eastern Highlands

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Threatened ecological communities

including the Snow Gum Woodlands and Grasslands are protected by these agreements

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$171 - $461 per hectare per year

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The Snow Gum Woodlands and Grasslands conservation tender focuses on conserving remnant patches of the following critically endangered ecological communities within the Yass Valley, Goulburn Mulwaree, Queanbeyan Palerang and Upper Lachlan local government areas. 

The target communities often occur together and have been identified for investment as they are poorly represented in our reserve system, have been highly cleared, and remain exposed to ongoing threats across much of their range. The woodland communities are dominated by snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) and Candlebark (Eucalyptus rubida) with minimal shrubs, and a continuous ground cover of grasses, non-woody herbs and native wildflowers when in good condition. Natural Temperate Grasslands are predominantly treeless and support a similar range of ground cover plants. 

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9 conservation agreements

in the Murray Riverina

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18,001 hectares

of primary Plains-wanderer habitat protected by these agreements

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Threatened species

including the plains-wanderer are protected by these agreements

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$20 - $33 per hectare per year

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The Plains-wanderer is an endangered bird of the Riverina grasslands for which protection and management of habitat on private land is a key part of species recovery. The Riverina Plains is the largest population of Plains-wanderers in NSW and is the focus of the NSW government’s Saving our Species recovery strategy.

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8 conservation agreements

in the Northern Inland

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27,605 hectares

important ecological communities protected by these agreements

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Threatened ecological communities

including the Brigalow woodland are protected by these agreements

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$10 - $133 per hectare per year

is paid to landholders over the life of these agreements

The tender area includes predominantly floodplain vegetation such as River Red Gum forest, Coolibah and River Cooba woodland, Lignum swamps, natural grasslands and chenopod shrublands. Much of the remnant native vegetation in the tender area is a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) or a vegetation type that is extensively cleared. TECs include Coolibah-Black Box woodland, Brigalow woodland, Weeping Myall woodland and natural grasslands such as Mitchell Grass grasslands. This vegetation also forms important habitat for a number of threatened fauna species, particularly wetland dependant bird species. These communities and species are considered high value ecological assets.