Territory Natural Resource Management has signed its 31st Territory Conservation Agreement (TCA), taking the number of hectares being voluntarily conserved by landholders across the Northern Territory to almost 40,000.
The program, set up by not for profit TNRM five years ago helps support and fund landholders to establish conservation areas on their own properties for a 10-year period. The TCA program is supported through funding from the Australian Government.
TNRM has helped landholders conserve more than 39,000 hectares through the TCA program, by funding and providing advice on installing fencing around critical wetland habitats and adding solar pumps and water points in alternative areas.
Cow Creek Station owner Carina James is the latest landholder to sign up for a TCA on her property located within the Sturt Plateau in the Gulf Savanna region.
Ms James will now preserve more than 1,000 hectares of seasonally inundated riparian area at the head waters of Middle Creek, which runs within her 44,000ha property.
The TCA is expected to maintain the ecological value of the site that is home to a number of reptiles, amphibians and birds including threatened species the Gouldian Finch.
It is also expected to help Ms James manage threats such as bushfires and feral and roaming livestock grazing pressures.
TNRM regional coordinator Daniel Chapman said the 31st TCA, known as Skink Conservation paddock was a perfect example of how strategic grazing could be used to effectively manage and alleviate threats to areas with ecological value.
“Northern Australian Fire Information fire scars indicate that one of the biggest risks to this site is unmanaged wildfires, “Mr Chapman said.
“By putting water points and supplement in a particular location and grazing with a calculated number of head at the appropriate time, Carina will be able reduce fuel loads on one of the sites fence lines and create an effective fire break”.
The Skink Conservation paddock TCA is located within 35 kilometres of several Lakefield Station TCA sites and the Gorrie Station TCA. It is also 70km from a TCA at Larrizona Station.
“This creates a fairly comprehensive network of protected riparian areas,” Mr Chapman said.
Territory Conservation Agreement (TCA) program was launched in 2011 by Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM)
So far 31 TCAs have been established across the NT
TCAs in place currently cover more than 39,000 hectares
TNRM provides TCA proponents up to $50,000 to manage a site, assistance in developing a site conservation plan, advice on labour and external funding sources, and assistance accessing expert advice and support. Applications for this year’s programs have now closed.
To date, TNRM has provided more than $1.1 million to landholders to establish TCAs, with $1.5 million in in-kind contributions from participants also being invested
The TCA Program is supported through funding from the Australian Government.