The Protected Areas on Private Land Program (PAPL) was a joint initiative between the
National Reserve System Program
, the Department and the
Tasmanian Land Conservancy
The aim of the PAPL program was to contribute to Tasmania and Australia's Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) Reserve System by promoting and facilitating voluntary Conservation Covenants
between the Tasmanian Government and landowners with important natural values on their properties. Natural values of interest included under-reserved vegetation communities, freshwater values, threatened species and geoconservation areas.
The PAPL program was largely interested in areas that were greater than ten hectares in size and in good condition - vegetation that had a diversity of species, limited management issues such as weeds, and ideally was linked to other areas of native bush.
Private landowners play a very important role in efforts to conserve Tasmania's unique natural values.
Benefits of a PAPL
- Exemption from land tax (for the area under Covenant);
- Rate rebates in some council areas;
Support and management advice for landowners;
- A regular
- Assistance with applications for funding for environmental works; and
- establishing an agreement that will see important conservation values on your land protected for biodiversity in perpetuity.
How many species are there in your backyard?
Discoveries at the Extinction Matters BioBlitzes – marking 80 years since the death of the last known thylacine.
Do you know what's living in your backyard or local area? There is probably an incredible number of species - some of which you or perhaps no one else has ever seen. Some of them may be threatened, and what we do in our backyards can make a real difference to their future prospects.
So to mark Threatened Species Day this year, BioBlitz events were held in September to look at what was living in two very different backyards in the State – Queen’s Domain, Hobart (South) and Bell's Parade, Latrobe (North).
A BioBlitz is a festival of science in nature - a great way to bring scientists, naturalists, schools and the community together to look for and appreciate what we have in our own backyards and local areas. The day's theme, 'Extinction Matters', was used to reflect on and celebrate the significance of every species.
Looking at water bugs - participants recorded everything that could be identified
Scientists and naturalists took groups of school children and members of the public on adventures of discovery and learning; every species was identified, recorded in iNATURALIST*, and its ecological role, life history and odd habits were discussed – this gave each person a sense of pride in what they had discovered, a personal knowledge of what was living in their own backyard and an awareness of its conservation needs.
More than 50 scientists and naturalists were involved, along with hundreds of additional participants. All involved had the opportunity to improve their skills in finding, identifying and recording the plants and animals in their local areas.
As well as generating extensive species lists, the BioBlitzes resulted in a lot of very happy people - feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
To find out more about what was found during the BioBlitzes, and for information on useful, fun ways to apply and further develop biodiversity-spotting skills, you can 'like' the Extinction Matters Facebook page, and explore the two 'Extinction Matters' projects on iNaturalist.
- Janet Smith and Clare Hawkins
Read more about the BioBlitz field days in the full version of this article in the December 2016 edition of The Running Postman newsletter.
The Running Postman December 2016 (1Mb)
* iNaturalist is a citizen science project and online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe - especially valuable when tracking the conservation status of our less common species. Observations can be added via their website or from a mobile app (https://www.inaturalist.org) or added directly to the Tasmanian Natural Values Atlas https://www.naturalvaluesatlas.tas.gov.au/#HomePage.