The Forest Practices Authority

RFA priority species project

Project summary

The Australian Government and the Tasmanian Government recognise that strategic landscape management planning is an important tool in ensuring the long-term viability of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) priority species and their habitats. This project was initiated in February 2010 and is being conducted over three financial years. It is designed to establish and implement a strategic landscape approach to the management of RFA priority species (including the swift parrot) and their habitats in Tasmania.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. To develop an approach to landscape management of RFA priority species and their habitats in areas covered by the forest practices system that can be implemented by the forest industry through current policy and legislation.
  2. To develop processes and planning tools (including species habitat planning guidelines, range boundaries and potential habitat maps) to assist landscape level planning.
  3. To develop and implement a process for establishing research priorities that will foster ongoing improvement of forest planning and management prescriptions at the landscape level.
  4. To prepare and implement a program for assessing the implementation and effectiveness of landscape level management prescriptions.
The project is divided into two parts. Part 1 is developing a species strategic plan for the swift parrot to cover the breeding range of the swift parrot and all activities, including forest practices, which have the potential to have a significant impact on the quality and/or quantity of breeding habitat. This is being carried out by DPIPWE. Part 2 is developing a strategic landscape approach to the management and conservation of RFA priority species and their habitat in areas covered by the forest practices system. The documents produced by the FPA for part 2 can be found below.

Background documents

Four documents have been prepared to provide background information relevant to the project.

1  A review of approaches to the conservation of forest biodiversity across the landscape in Australia and overseas
This report reviews current landscape-scale management approaches for the conservation of forest biodiversity adopted in Australia and overseas. It outlines and reviews the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and then explores the key elements and limiting factors, and makes recommendations associated with a landscape approach to the conservation of forest biodiversity.

2  A review of the approach to the conservation of RFA priority species in areas covered by the Tasmanian forest practices system
This report is a review of the current management actions that are applied both at the landscape and coupe (harvest unit) level for the conservation management of biodiversity in areas covered by the forest practices system; and how these management actions and approaches are applied under legislation and policy in Tasmania.

3  On-ground implementation of the current forest management prescriptions for the conservation of RFA priority species
This report summarises the on-ground monitoring of the implementation of the management actions outlined in background document 2, which is principally achieved though the FPA?s compliance monitoring program, the monitoring required for the Permanent Native Forest Estate and monitoring required for threatened species under the agreed procedures.

4  A review of approaches used interstate and overseas to monitor the effectiveness of forest management prescriptions for the conservation of biodiversity
This report reviews approaches used interstate and overseas to monitor the effectiveness of forest management actions for the conservation of biodiversity. We report on the different approaches used in each jurisdiction, explore the key elements of a successful monitoring program and make recommendations that are considered relevant to a landscape approach to the conservation of forest biodiversity in Tasmania.

Progress reports

Monitoring the effectiveness of forest management prescriptions for the conservation RFA priority species: current progress and future work
This report provides an overview of some of the effectiveness monitoring programs conducted by the FPA. It outlines the types of effectiveness monitoring that can be done, and suggests an approach for prioritising effectiveness monitoring of the forest practices system biodiversity provisions.

RFA Priority Species Project doc 6 Milestone 21 report  implementation of the landscape planning guideline
The FPA is developing a Biodiversity landscape planning guideline to manage RFA priority species across the Tasmanian landscape. This report outlines the draft objectives of the planning guideline, and links management targets to each goal. Examples are also provided of the implementation of current landscape-scale policies and planning tools.

Powerpoint presentation on the strategic landsccape approach to managing habitat for RFA priority species
This July 2012 presentation outlines: the Current approach in areas covered by the forest practices system and the need for landscape-scale approach; the development of the landscape planning guideline; and future directions.

Project outcomes 

Biodiversity landscape planning guideline 

Biodiversity landscape planning guideline 

The Biodiversity landscape planning guideline provides a framework for managing biodiversity values, including RFA priority species, across the landscape in areas covered by the Tasmanian forest practices system. It has been developed in response to recommendations from the 2009 review of the biodiversity provisions of the Forest Practices Code.

The guideline is designed to assist in meeting landscape objectives for biodiversity during strategic planning. However it is recognised that it will not account for all the requirements of priority species, and site or species-specific management will still need to be considered in some situations. The guideline translates ecological theory into on-ground practice using a four-tiered approach: goals; management targets; actions; and planning tools. It is recognised and accepted that there will always be alternative actions which can be implemented to meet the intent of a management target, or that the actions proposed in this guideline may not always be applicable to a particular landscape. 

Monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of this guideline is important for an adaptive management system. Implementation and effectiveness monitoring will occur through the FPA's monitoring and compliance program. 

Effectiveness monitoring program 

Developing a biodiversity effectiveness monitoring program for the forest practices system: identifying priority projects 

A program to monitor the effectiveness of forest management prescriptions for the conservation of RFA priority species needs to consider all management actions delivered through various mechanisms associated with the Forest Practices Code that relate to biodiversity. Monitoring the effectiveness of all these management actions is not achievable in the short to medium term given current resources, and so it is important to prioritise the projects that can be undertaken. This report details the methods and results of the process adopted to prioritise monitoring for (a) the provisions that generally relate to biodiversity, and (b) the provisions that specifically relate to priority species.

Trialling implementation of the Biodiversity landscape planning guideline

Trialling implementation of the Biodiversity landscape planning guideline: results for three forest blocks 

This document reports on a project exploring the application and value of landscape-level planning for three State forest blocks, guided by the Biodiversity landscape planning guideline and associated planning tools.

Content last modified November 25, 2013, 3:51 pm