Protected areas of Tasmania

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Map showing national parks of Tasmania

Protected areas of Tasmania consist of protected areas located within Tasmania and its immediate onshore waters, including Macquarie Island. It includes areas of crown land (withheld land) managed by Tasmanian Government agencies as well as private reserves. As of 2016, 52% of Tasmania's land area has some form of reservation classification, the majority is managed by the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service (about 42% of total Tasmanian land area). Marine protected areas cover about 7.9% of state waters.

Within each classification of reserve there may be a variation of IUCN categories Australia is a signatory to the Convention of Biological Diversity and as such has obligations to report the status of its National Reserve System.IUCN provides on its website a prescription for activities consistent with the categorisation system. Changes made to the Nature Conservation Act 2002 in 2014 permit timber harvesting. These changes made in addition to the already established right to access minerals means that many of the IUCN categorisations assigned to individual reserves in Tasmania are no longer fit for purpose. In addition many reserves have had their reserve status downgraded from a class excluding timber harvesting and mineral extraction to ones where these activities are now permitted. This mis-application of the IUCN protected area categories needs to be remedied or the reserves protected land class under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 should be adjusted to reflect its currently assigned IUCN category.

Legislation and management[edit]

  • Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manages crown land reserved under the Nature Conservation Act 2002. The 10 classes of protected land are: conservation area, historic site, game reserve, national park, nature recreation area, nature reserve, regional reserve and state reserve.[1][2][3] The National Parks and Reserves Management act 2002 determines the management objectives for each class.[4]
  • 'Permanent timber production zone land' is crown land managed by Sustainable Timber Tasmania under the Forest Management Act 2013. It contains areas of informal reserves (e.g. landscape connectivity, streamside buffers, etc.)[3][5]
  • The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) administers 'future potential production forest' crown land (formerly 'future reserve land') as defined in The Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Act 2014.[6][7]
  • The Wellington Park Management Trust is outlined in the Wellington Park Act 1993.[8][9]

Summary of area totals[edit]

At 30 June 2016, Tasmania's terrestrial reserves cover 3.4 million hectares (8.4×10^6 acres) (about 50.1% of the area of Tasmania), of which Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manages 823 reserves (about 2.9 million ha (7.2 million acres), or over 42% of the area of Tasmania).[2][10]

The following table demonstrates the distribution of terrestrial protected areas as of June 2016, any marine areas are excluded. All protected areas not managed by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service or Sustainable Timber Tasmania is grouped into "other", including: formal and informal reserves on public land, reserves on private land, and Wellington Park.[2][11][10]

Operator Class or category Number Total area*
Percentage of all reserved area
TPWS Conservation area 438 622,000 18.2%
Game reserve 12 13,000 0.4%
Historic site 30 9,000 0.3%
National park 19 1,463,000 42.9%
Nature recreation area 25 67,000 2.0%
Nature reserves 86 35,000 1.0%
Regional reserves 148 454,000 13.3%
State reserves 65 46,000 1.4%
managed by TPWS
823 2,709,000 79.3%
STT Informal reserve 121,000 3.6%
DPIPWE Future potential production forest 392,000 11.5%
Other Other
not managed by TPWS or STT
192,000 5.6%
of all Tasmanian reserved area
3,415,000 100%
*rounding to nearest 1,000 hectares
Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment is denoted by DPIPWE,
Sustainable Timber Tasmania by STT and Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service by TPWS


Commonwealth marine reserves[edit]

There are several Commonwealth marine reserves in the vicinity of Tasmania, these reserves are not within state waters and are managed by the Australian government. All of the reserves are part of the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network which contains an additional 4 reserves.[12]

Tasmanian marine protected areas[edit]

Marine protected areas (MPAs) in Tasmanian state waters are classed as either conservation area, national park or nature reserve. Only the nature reserve or national park class have either restricted fishing or no take zones.[13][14] Of the approximately 135,000 hectares (330,000 acres) of marine protected areas, about 48,000 hectares (120,000 acres) is restricted fishing or no take, Macquarie Island (~75,000 ha (190,000 acres)) is a wholly no-take zone.[10]

In total 7.9% of Tasmania's State coastal waters is reserved, however only 4.2% is in no-take areas and the majority of this is concentrated around subantarctic Macquarie Island. Only 1.1% of Tasmania's immediate coastal waters are fully protected in no-take areas.[13]

Private reserves[edit]

Reserves on private land is about 4% of the terrestrial protected areas in Tasmania.[10]

Conservation Covenant[edit]

Landowners may protect some areas of their land by entering into a Conservation Covenant which is legally binding under the Nature Conservation Act (2002) and is registered on the land title. Although usually in perpetuity, about 7%[10] of the covenant area in Tasmania is fixed-term.[15][16] In December 2016, there were 819 covenants covering an area of about 99,000 ha (240,000 acres).[17]

Indigenous Protected Areas[edit]

There are 8 Indigenous Protected Area in Tasmania, covering an area of about 11,000 ha (27,000 acres).[18]



Private sanctuaries[edit]

Land reserved for the significant natural or cultural values while permitting the carrying out of agricultural or other activities consistent on preserving the values of the land.[1]

Wellington Park[edit]

Wellington Park is the protected area which encompasses Mount Wellington and surrounds near Hobart. It is IUCN protected area category II and covers an area of about 18,000 ha (44,000 acres).[18] It is managed by the Wellington Park Management Trust established in 1993 whose members include: Hobart and Glenorchy City Councils, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, DPIPWE, TasWater and Tourism Tasmania.[19]

State forest[edit]

Future potential production forest[edit]

'Future potential production forest land' (FPPF or FPPFL) is crown land administered by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) where, except in some circumstances for "special species timbers", no native forest harvesting can be undertaken. It was formally classified as 'future reserve land' (FRL) under the Tasmanian Forests Agreement. FPPF may be converted to 'permanent timber production zone land' (PTPZ or PTPZL) after 2020.[6][7]


The Tasmanian Forests Agreement which was passed in 2013[20] after almost 4 years of negotiations,[21] categorised about 400,000 hectares (990,000 acres) of crown land native forest as FRL, which included areas of forests of the Styx, Weld, Upper Florentine, Great Western Tiers and Tarkine regions.[20] The fate of FRL was dependent upon Tasmanian forest practices gaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.[22] In the recent 2014 audit, Forestry Tasmania (now Sustainable Timber Tasmania) complied with 193 indicators, but needed further action on 10 more.[23][24]

In September 2014 the Tasmanian government passed legislation[25] which reclassified the 400,000 hectares of FRL as FPPF. After the expiration of the memorandum in April 2020, areas of FPPF can be converted to PTPZ where native forest logging can occur, subject to parliamentary approval. Until 2020, only limited "special species timber" harvesting can be undertaken in FPPF.[7][21][26]

Permanent timber production zone land[edit]

Sustainable Timber Tasmania is a government business enterprise owned by the Tasmanian Government which manages and operates state forest on crown land (officially classified as 'permanent timber production zone land'). Some of this land has informal protection and is managed for conservation as part of the Tasmanian CAR reserve system (e.g. habitat for threatened species, streamside protection, landscape connectivity).[5] Informal reserves on the public production forest land cover about 121,000 ha (300,000 acres).[10]

Forest reserves[edit]

Forest reserves are located on 'permanent timber production zone land' and may have recreation or other tourism facilities.[27]

Conservation areas[edit]

A protected area of land predominantly in a natural state. The sustainable use of natural resources may be permitted, such as mining, special species timber harvesting or hunting.[1][28] There are 438 conservation areas covering a terrestrial area of about 622,000 ha (1,540,000 acres).[11][10] Mostly IUCN protected area categories IV, V or VI.[18]

IUCN Ia or Ib[edit]

IUCN II[edit]

IUCN III[edit]

IUCN IV[edit]

IUCN V[edit]

IUCN VI[edit]

Marine conservation areas[edit]

Conservation areas that are marine protected areas cover about 12,000 ha (30,000 acres) of state waters,[11][10] and are all IUCN protected area category VI.[18] Marine conservation areas do not have any fishing restrictions.[14]

Game reserves[edit]

An area of land conserved for containing natural values that are unique, important or have representative value; particularly games species and allowing the sustainable hunting these species.[1][28] There are 12 game reserves covering an area of about 20,000 ha (49,000 acres),[11][10] all are IUCN protected area category VI.[18]

Historic sites[edit]

Land with significant historic cultural heritage and is conserved for presentation of these features for public appreciation and education.[1][28] There are 30 historic sites covering an area of about 16,000 ha (40,000 acres).[11][10] Most are IUCN protected area category V.[18]




National parks[edit]

A national park in Tasmania is defined as a large natural area of land containing a representative or outstanding sample of major natural regions, features or scenery. National parks serve to protect and maintain the natural and cultural values of the area of land while providing for ecologically sustainable recreation.[1][28] There are 19 national parks covering a terrestrial area of about 1,468,000 ha (3,630,000 acres), the largest protected area category in Tasmania.[11][10][18]

IUCN Ia or Ib


National parks (marine)[edit]

Three national parks also have a marine protected area component. These cover about 48,000 ha (120,000 acres) of state waters.[11][10]

Nature recreation areas[edit]

Is predominantly in a natural state or contains sensitive natural sites of significance for recreation. Reserved for public recreation and education consistent with conserving the values of the area.[1][28] There are 25 nature recreation areas covering an area of about 67,000 ha (170,000 acres), mostly IUCN protected area category V.[11][10][18]




Nature reserves[edit]

An area of land that is conserved for the natural values that contribute to the natural biological or geological diversity of the area and are unique, important or have representative value.[1][28] There are 86 nature reserves covering a terrestrial area of about 36,000 ha (89,000 acres). Mostly IUCN protected area category Ia.[11][10][18]




Marine nature reserves[edit]

Nature reserves that are marine protected areas cover about 76,000 ha (190,000 acres) of state waters (includes Macquarie Island).[11][10]

Regional reserves[edit]

May have also previously been known as forest reserves, a regional reserve is an area of land with a high mineral potential or prospectively and is predominantly in a natural state. The purpose of reservation is for mineral exploration and the development of mineral deposits and/or the controlled use of other natural resources, including special species timber harvesting, while protecting and maintaining the natural and cultural values.[1][28] There are 148 regional reserves covering an area of about 454,000 ha (1,120,000 acres), a majority are IUCN protected area category IV.[11][10][18]





State reserves[edit]

An area of land which provides protection and maintenance for significant natural landscapes, features, or sites of significance to Aboriginal people.[1][28] There are 65 state reserves covering an area of about 47,000 ha (120,000 acres). Most are IUCN protected area category II or III.[11][10][18]




See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Nature Conservation Act 2002". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Reserve Listing: National Parks and Reserves declared under the Nature Conservation Act 2002". Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 1 May 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Crown Land Frequently Asked Questions". Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  4. ^ "National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Interactive Map Layer Definitions: Permanent Timber Production Zone Land Key". Forestry Tasmania. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b "RTI 16-17-24" (PDF). Government of Tasmania. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Rebuilding Tasmania's Forest Industry". Government of Tasmania. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Wellington Park FAQ". Wellington Park Management Trust. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Wellington Park Act 1993". Australasian Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Tasmanian Reserve Estate Spatial Layer 2016". Government of Tasmania. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Reserve Summary Report (Nature Conservation Act 2002) [list of TPWS-managed reserves]". Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  12. ^ "South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network". Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Marine Reserves". Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 1 May 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Marine Reserves". Government of Tasmania. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Private Land Conservation Program: Conservation Covenants". Government of Tasmania. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  16. ^ "What is a conservation covenant?". © Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  17. ^ "The Running Postman Issue 22" (PDF). Government of Tasmania. December 2016. p. 12. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "CAPAD 2014". Commonwealth of Australia. 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Wellington Park Management". Wellington Park Management Trust. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  20. ^ a b Gale, Fred (8 May 2013). "Tasmanian Forests Agreement: deeply flawed, worth backing". The Conversation (Australia). The Conversation Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  21. ^ a b Ikin, Sam; Nightingale, Tom (3 September 2014). "Tasmania repeals the forestry peace deal between conservationists and loggers, opening up 400,000 hectares". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  22. ^ Walker, Tim; Compton, Leon (30 May 2014). "Six years is a long time in Tasmania's forests". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  23. ^ Richards, Blair (24 April 2015). "Forestry Tasmania faces battle for FSC certification". News Corp Australia. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  24. ^ Coulter, Ellen (1 March 2016). "Forestry Tasmania fails to gain crucial certification to aid overseas marketing". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Act 2014". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  26. ^ Warman, Russell (29 August 2014). "End of Tasmania's forest peace deal heralds more uncertainty". (Australia). The Conversation Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Visiting Our Forests". Forestry Tasmania. Archived from the original on 27 June 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h "Background Notes 1c Tasmania's protected places". Government of Tasmania. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]