Land for Wildlife

The Land for Wildlife scheme (LFW) was established in Tasmania in 1998. Participation in this conservation scheme is voluntary, free, and non-binding. The LFW scheme aims to encourage, support and recognise landowners who are taking a positive approach to the integration of property land management with nature conservation on private land.

A large proportion of Tasmania's wildlife species and habitat types which are poorly reserved on public land occur on privately owned land. Protecting a diverse range of habitats today will assist in reducing the risk of species becoming threatened in the future. Properties registered with the LFW scheme can make a valuable contribution to protecting our wildlife species and habitats. The LFW scheme is generally interested in areas that are greater than two hectares in size.

As at February 2019, there were around 1,025 LFW agreements in Tasmania covering 58,943 hectares.

Benefits

Benefits of membership to the LFW scheme include:
  • On-site assessment to provide information and advice on habitats and species;
  • Practical advice and technical notes on land management;
  • A book which provides information on native fauna and their habitats;
  • A regular newsletter; and
  • A durable, attractive sign to indicate your membership in the scheme.


 

Native hens - Tassie 'turbo chooks'

Native hen

Native hen sheltering young chick
Photo:  Peter Tonelli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Turbo chook’ is the affectionate name given to the Tasmanian native hen (Gallinula mortierii).  However, they have no relationship whatsoever to domestic chickens but are related to a group of waterfowl known as rails.  The native hen is a flightless bird standing approximately 45 cm tall with strong sturdy legs.  It gets its nickname from its reputation as being a very fast runner, reaching speeds of 50 km/h.  They are also good swimmers and will take to the water readily if pursued.

 
Native hens are one of twelve Tasmanian endemic bird species, i.e. they are found nowhere else but Tasmania.  They did occur in south east Australia, but became extinct following the arrival of dingos and foxes.  Being a flightless bird living on the ground, they are at high risk of predation.  In the past, due to their high numbers in Tasmania, they were regarded as a pest species.  Large populations were associated with a period of time in the 1940’s to 50’s when rabbit numbers were in plague proportions and hence rabbits provided an alternative food source for native carnivorous predators such as quolls, Tasmanian devils and birds of prey.  With the introduction of myxomatosis, rabbit numbers severely declined making native hens prime prey for native carnivores.   They are now listed as a protected species.


 

Native hen

Native hens at edge of artificial pond
Photo: Iona Mitchell

Native hen

Perfect size for a bath
Photo: Iona Mitchell

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Iona Mitchell       

 

To learn more about these charismatic birds, read the full version of this article in the June 2019 edition of The Running Postman newsletter:

  Running Postman Newsletter No. 27 June 2019   (855Kb)

 

 
 


Additional Information

Judy Westbrook and kids

 

LFW members.
Photo by Peter Tonelli

The Running Postman and previous Land for Wildlife newsletters are now available online.

If you live in an urban or suburban area the Gardens for Wildlife scheme may interest you.

How to apply

If you would like more information about LFW, please complete and return the Expression of Interest form.

  Land for Wildlife Expression of Interest   (43Kb)

Contact

Land for Wildlife
Iona Mitchell
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 4409
Email: Iona.Mitchell@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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