Conservation non-government organisations are the fastest growing sector building the National Reserve System. Conservation non-government organisations are independent land conservation bodies that operate as non-profit businesses, buying and protecting land of outstanding conservation value. Their role is critical, as they complement the public reserves by filling conservation gaps, purchasing or covenanting land where governments are unable to do so.
In the past decade, these non-government organisations have raised over $20 million from big business donors and legions of individual supporters to add 28 properties - more than 1.8 million hectares - to the National Reserve System. The properties range from vast monsoonal forest landscapes in the Top End, through arid desert properties in Queensland and New South Wales, former grazing properties in South Australia and along the River Murray, to threatened wetlands in Tasmania.
The non-government organisations' involvement does not end with the property purchase. They are in the business of land management for the long-term, and employ scientists and ecologists to deliver practical on-ground conservation programs based on the best available science. Their ongoing fund-raising projects bring significant investment targeting feral animals, weeds and inappropriate fire regimes.
Many conservation organisations are also carrying out cutting edge scientific research on the properties they own and manage.
- Australian Wildlife Conservancy
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy acquires land, and works with other landholders, to establish sanctuaries for the conservation of threatened wildlife and ecosystems.
- Bush Heritage Australia
Bush Heritage Australia owns and manages reserves throughout Australia.
- Nature Conservancy
In Australia, The Nature Conservancy supports other conservation non-government organisations to buy and manage high priority land.
- Tasmanian Land Conservancy
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy conserves, enhances and protects Tasmania's natural environment by purchasing and managing land.
- Trust for Nature
Trust for Nature's mission is to enable people to bequeath land or money for conservation and for the purchase of Victoria's bush.