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Action Alert - Tasmanian Native Grasslands      
HSI

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Action Alert - 10 March 2009

Support the protection of Tasmania's native grasslands

Act by 16 March 2009

Environment Minister Peter Garrett will soon be deciding whether to list the Lowland Native Grasslands of Tasmania as a threatened ecological community under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The Government is now seeking public comments on the potential listing of this community, as well an extract of the draft listing advice and draft conservation advice that will be adopted if the decision is made to list the community as threatened.

Click here to access a PDF (175 kB) of the draft listing advice.

Click here to access a PDF (114 kB) of the draft conservation advice.

Public comment periods tend to result in an avalanche of submissions from vested interest groups against protecting ecological communities ' “ it is essential that we use this opportunity to show the wealth of public support for conserving our threatened native habitats.

Temperate native grasslands are recognised as one of the most threatened vegetation types, and those of Tasmania's lowland are regarded as some of Tasmania's most depleted and fragmented ecosystems. Restricted to localised areas of northwest Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait, they are unlike many of the temperate grasslands of southeastern Australia, being home to a variety of animal species including small mammals, larger grazing animals, ground-dwelling birds and birds of prey, skinks, snakes and a diversity of invertebrates.

Land clearing, pasture improvement, weed invasion, feral animals, inappropriate grazing and fire regimes, urban expansion, and off-road vehicle disturbance have all taken a devastating toll on this habitat. Very little of this community is currently protected in national parks or any other conservation related land tenure. As the majority of its remaining extent is located on private property, national protection under the EPBC Act is its best chance for long term recovery and survival.

Further information on the listing of threatened ecological communities under the EPBC Act can be found at: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/communities.html.

Action:

Send your comments in support of the listing of Lowland Native Grasslands of Tasmania as a threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act to Mr Matthew White, Director, Ecological Communities Section of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts at matthew.white@environment.gov.au and cc Ms Tori Wright, Assistant Director at tori.wright@environment.gov.au. Ask that in addition to the priority actions identified in the conservation advice, that remnants of habitat of this community that are essential for its long term recovery and survival are listed on the EPBC Register of Critical Habitat.

Please send us copies of any responses you receive.





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