The effectiveness of conservation covenants in enhancing the breeding activity of eagles on private land in Tasmania.

Miss Erin Harris1, Dr Andrew Harwood1, Dr Sally Bryant2

1University Of Tasmania – Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences, Sandy Bay, Australia

2Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Lower Sandy Bay, Australia


Over the last two decades conservation covenants have become the primary mechanism for securing biodiversity outcomes on private land in Tasmania. More recently, covenants have been used to regulate and mitigate the impacts that private land management activities have on nesting eagles. Private land constitutes almost 40% of Tasmania including about 42% of known wedge-tailed eagle nests, thus a vast number of nests are exposed to human disturbances. Eagle ecology in Tasmania and the role of conservation covenants on nests is a complex issue with both environmental and social components. With a view to understanding the effectiveness of conservation covenants in providing adequate protection of eagle breeding sites we documented the activity status of eagle nests during the 2018-2019 breeding season on three land tenures: covenants; private freehold; and Permanent Timber Production Zones (PTPZ). We also conducted surveys and interviews with landholders of the covenanting and private freehold properties to understand why landholders engage in conservation covenanting programs, their attitudes towards these programs and how covenants change their land management practices. Such information is likely to provide critical context for assessing and evaluating the value of conservation covenants as a protective mechanism on private land.


Erin Harris is studying a Master of Environmental Management at the University of Tasmania’s School of Technology, Environments and Design. Erin is expected to finish this project in June 2019 and hopes to further her career in conservation and environmental management.

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