Developing regionally specific conservation actions under climate change: a Tasmanian case study of temperate lowland grasslands
Macgregor, N and Gilfedder, L and Bridle, K, Developing regionally specific conservation actions under climate change: a Tasmanian case study of temperate lowland grasslands, 2nd International Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2012, 29-31 May 2012, Arizona, USA (2012) [Conference Extract]
Tasmania holds some of the Australia’s most iconic and valued ecosystems and landscapes, and has an outstanding record of Protected Area establishment with 44% of public land in reserves and 1% of private land under conservation easement or agreements. While large tracts of land are protected in the public reserve system, some ecosystems such as lowland temperate grasslands exist mainly on private land, adding complexity to planning future adaptation options. To identify how nature conservation in Tasmania might need to adapt to a changing climate, we held a structured expert workshop bringing together Tasmanian climate change researchers and policy-makers working in the conservation management of terrestrial and freshwater systems. For a range of different Tasmania ecosystems, the workshop explored climate impacts of greatest conservation concern, the challenges of setting conservation goals in a changing climate, possible management actions required, and knowledge gaps. The barriers and opportunities affecting implementation of adaptation in three administrative regions, and the necessary policies that might be required, were then discussed. This enabled us to identify similarities and differences in the approach to adaptation that might need to be taken in different ecosystems and regions. We discuss our findings with particular reference to identifying specific adaptation guidelines for the conservation of lowland temperate grasslands (a nationally threatened ecosystem). Lowland native grasslands exist predominantly on private farmed land and are undergoing significant land use change due to irrigation developments to ‘drought-proof’ agricultural production. Increased climate variability provides opportunities and threats to conservation, and effective policies and incentives are needed to support appropriate land management. Competing values from government, community and private landholders all need to be accommodated to ensure the future of these threatened grassland communities, illustrating the importance of considering the social and lanD.