Private Land Conservation Program

NEW View the Planned Burning Management web page for a range of tools and strategies to assist Tasmanian private landholders with fire management.

"To build an effective and resilient network of private reserves and areas with complementary biodiversity management, in partnership with landowners and other organisations"

The Private Land Conservation Program (PLCP) was established in 2006 to provide a single point of management for all of the Department's conservation programs that focus on private land. The Program works with landowners to sustainably manage and conserve natural values (e.g. native flora and fauna, natural wetlands, geoconservation areas) on private land. We are committed to helping landowners to look after these values now and into the future.

"Building partnerships with landowners for the sustainable management and conservation of natural values across the landscape"

The Department, the agricultural sector and regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) Committees all acknowledge the key role of private landowners in conserving our natural diversity and the public and private benefits that flow from this approach. Capable land stewardship conserves the natural environment, providing benefits for future Tasmanians and visitors while enabling landowners to maintain market access and capitalise on new opportunities.

The PLCP aims to develop and encourage an integrated approach to private land management and planning that helps landowners fully benefit from the sustainable management of their properties' natural diversity. We seek to achieve high level recognition of the biodiversity value of natural systems and the need to appropriately protect them, and to support individuals who voluntarily manage these systems for conservation outcomes.

The PLCP provides a coordinated and targeted approach to the establishment of voluntary conservation agreements with private landowners. To this end, the program works with partners including landowners to deliver a variety of initiatives and shorter-term incentive programs.

The Private Land Conservation Program offers

Previous Programs

Conservation Covenants

Landowners may enter into a Conservation Covenant to manage defined areas specifically for nature conservation. Covenants are legally binding under the Nature Conservation Act (2002) and are registered on the land title. Although a Covenant is usually in perpetuity, it may be registered for a fixed-term.

Covenants in perpetuity give peace of mind that natural values, such as native flora and fauna, natural wetlands and geoconservation areas, will persist for generations. They also contribute to Australia's network of protected areas, the National Reserve System.

We offer management support and advice to landowners with Conservation Covenants, and conduct scientific monitoring of the protected natural values.

Other benefits of a Conservation Covenant include:
  • Exemption from land tax (for the area under Covenant);
  • Rate rebates in some council areas;
  • Salinity and erosion protection by maintaining remnant native vegetation;
  • Supporting applications for funding for environmental works; and
  • A sense of well-being from knowing that you have protected your land for future generations and will be making an important contribution to nature conservation in Australia
The Protected Areas on Private Land program is the current covenanting program.

Tasmanian Masked owl - more of a screech than a hoot

Tasmanian masked owl
Photo: Michael Todd

To many people the call of an owl is often associated with a gentle hoot hooting sound. There are some owl species which do make such calls.  However, the call of the masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) is far less melodious and more akin to a high pitched screech not unlike the noise brush-tail possums can make when they are having a dispute among themselves.

The Tasmanian masked owl is the largest subspecies with a body length of around 47 to 51 cm and wingspan of up to 1.28 m. Females are larger than males and are also darker in colour.

The favoured habitat for masked owls is eucalyptus forest and woodlands, expecially

Lighter colour morph of the Tasmanian masked owl
Photo: Michael Todd

where these have a relatively open understorey or adjoin areas of cleared open land where they can hunt for prey.  A key requirement for masked owl habitat is that it contains old mature trees with hollows having an entrance diameter > 15 cm for nesting and roosting. Suitable hollows to accommodate such a large bird and their offspring can take more than 150 - 200 + years to form.  The protection and retention of trees with large hollows is extremely important for the survival and successful breeding of masked owls.

Masked owls in Tasmania and elsewhere in Australia are listed as a threatened species predominantly due to loss of habitat, expecially areas containing mature trees with hollows, and increasingly secondary poisoning from the use of rodenticides.

  - Iona Mitchell




Facial disc showing 'mask'
Photo:  Michael Todd

Tasmanian masked owl nesting in a sandstone cave
Photo:  Michael Todd

Tasmanian masked owl nest in tree hollow
Photo:  Helen Crawford











To learn more about these beautiful majestic but secretive birds, read the full version of this article in the June 2016 edition of The Running Postman newsletter:

  The Running Postman June 2016   (947Kb)

Private Land Conservation Program participants as at December 2015:
​Number of covenants
807​98,582 hectares
​Land for Wildlife members
917​57,192 hectares
​Garden for Wildlife members
​556​2,798 hectares

Please note that some landowners are registered with more than one program, and there is some overlap in the figures presented.


Private Land Conservation Enquiries
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1300 368 550

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