2014 BANKSIA NATURAL CAPITAL AWARD
Tasmanian Midlands Conservation Fund– Bush Heritage Australia in partnership with Tasmanian Land Conservancy, TAS
The Tasmanian Midlands are home to 32 nationally threatened species and more than 180 plants and animals threatened at State level. 95% of the Tasmanian Midlands is privately owned, making a new approach to conservation vital. The Midland Conservation Fund aims to conserve biodiversity on farms in the Tasmanian Midlands by offering farmers new stewardship agreements to pay for long-term conservation management on their land in a region that is one of Australia’s 15 biodiversity hotspots. The fund is a partnership between Bush Heritage Australia and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and will help farmers safeguard the last pieces of remnant native grasslands and grassy woodlands without the need to acquire land.
The MCF is part of a broader ‘Midlandscapes’ project which has a goal of ensuring ten per cent (or 64, 000 hectares) of the Tasmanian Midlands Biodiversity Hotspot is conserved by 2020. Native species protection priorities include vulnerable marsupials such as the Tasmanian bettong (a species extinct on the mainland) and spotted-tailed quoll; wedge-tailed eagles; critically endangered lowland grasslands; and nationally threatened plants such as the tunbridge buttercup and pungent leek-orchid.