NSW Threatened Species

A large percentage of NSW’s threatened native plants and animal habitats exist on private land.

In fact, studies show that in 2012 just 9.2%, or around 799,307 km2 of NSW was contained within protected areas, such as national parks, World Heritage sites and nature reserves. [1]

While the existence of public reserves go a long way towards supporting wildlife conservation initiatives, they represent just one part of the conservation picture.

We believe that private landowners have a vital role to play in protecting the habitat of threatened species and endangered animals. Private landowners can help maintain, restore and reconnect habitats that have been lost or fragmented  and are threatened by invasive species, changed fire regimes and climate change.

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Over the last 200 years, more than 100 animal and plant species have become extinct.

In NSW alone there are close to 1000 animal and plant species at risk of extinction.

Source: NSW Government

How can private landowners help?

Private landowners who commit to land conservation measures such as covenants can provide the vital linkages and corridors between protected areas and patches of habitats. Covenants help to increase the mobility and range of many species, allowing them to move freely from one area of protected vegetation to another.

By partnering with the NCT on private land conservation projects, together we are helping to protect the habitat of threatened species and endangered animals.

We also work with landowners to help raise awareness of endangered species - the threats they face, and what they need to live long, healthy lives.

How we can protect NSW threatened species

The responsibility of protecting and managing NSW’s threatened species can be shared among everyday Australians.

The NSW Government is actively encouraging individuals and groups to help manage the state’s threatened species through its Saving Our Species (SoS) program. The program complements the diverse body of conservation work already being undertaken by the NCT, other conservation groups and the wider community.

Private landholders can enter into a voluntary conservation agreement for managing threatened species on their land with the NCT. This commitment gives landholders the opportunity to play a vital role in biodiversity protection now and forever.

Plus, private landowners are well placed to become registered users of the Saving Our Species program, and to share information and activities on the Saving Our Species website.

How the Threatened Species Program works

The SoS program:

  1. Allocates all threatened species in NSW to one of six management streams that identify the types of actions required for each species.
  2. Provides targeted conservation projects that set out the actions required to save specific plants and animals on mapped sites.
  3. Prioritises projects based on their benefit to the species and feasibility of success against costs, helping investors make effective investments in species conservation.
  4. Regularly monitors the effectiveness of projects so they can be improved over time.
  5. Encourages participation from individuals, business and government.


[1] Source:  WWF Report: Building Nature's Safety Net 2014: A decade of protected area achivements in Australia; M. Taylor, J. Fitzsimons & P Sattler.