Sustainable Wildlife Enterprises

Trials of the Commercial Value of Wildlife as an Incentive to Restore On-Farm Habitat

See also report:
A Strategic Plan for Trialling Sustainable Wildlife Enterprises Guidelines for conservation-based enterprises as an incentive to restore on-farm habitat
(PDF 266k)

Australia’s landscapes are under increasing pressure of degradation. Loss of species, dryland salinity, soil erosion and water quality have generated heightened concern amongst farmers, government and conservationists alike as their impact threatens the productivity and health of Australia’s ecosystems.

Our national reserve system alone is not adequate to conserve the diversity of ecosystem functions required to protect the viability of Australia’s agricultural and natural resources. A dramatic shift in the way we perceive and utilise our natural resources is required. However, government alone can not meet this cost. Collaborative strategies between landholders, governments and communities are required to bring about the broad scale change required.

Sustainable Wildlife Enterprises (SWE) is an initiative of the Rangelands and Wildlife Program designed to trial innovative strategies including;

  • supporting the concept of giving landholders on the rangelands more responsibility and rights over wildlife as an incentive to use the resource sustainably
  • testing the notion that commercial value is an incentive for restoring habitats, reclaiming degraded areas, maintaining landscapes and encouraging biodiversity conservation
  • comparing overseas experience that ‘ownership’ of native animals allocated to landholders within strict rules conserves habitat of wild resources and increases biodiversity
Through support provided from the Natural Heritage Trust and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, SWE seeks to develop first a strategic and then an implementation plan that will promote government research priorities for sustainable management and use of soil, water, air, vegetation and fauna resources in the rangelands through integrating sustainable wildlife enterprises into existing land use systems. The plans will focus on developing an integrated approach to production, processing and marketing of wildlife including;
  • management guidelines, organisational and alternative governance arrangements
  • rates of sustainable use
  • changes in biodiversity and the natural resource base, enhancement of landscapes and reductions in land degradation
  • commercial viability of sustainable wildlife enterprises, particularly those that integrate with tourism and aboriginal aspirations
  • markets for produce from enterprises that lead to a net conservation gain
  • options for resource ownership and tenure, financial systems, alternative capital structures.
The project provides opportunities for all stakeholders to contribute to the development of the strategic and implementation plans that will guide on-ground trials.

For an outline of the concepts and how organisations and individuals can participate, please download the attached brochure (PDF, 1meg - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Register your interest

The planning process for the trial of Sustainable Wildlife Enterprises seeks to identify potential participants including producers, processors, retailers, marketers, researchers and advisors and funding partners.

If you are interested in registering, please complete the contact details below. Feel free to provide additional information as appropriate.
(Please note: all fields are optional)
Email address:

Current farming operation:     Details: 

1. Potential wildlife enterprise development in your region (based on available resources):
Bushfoods Farm Forestry Game Meat Tourism Wildflowers
Other - please specify:


2. Are you aware of existing markets (regional, national or international) for the wildlife products selected above (these could include processors, retailers and/or wholesalers)?
Yes  No 

3. Do you belong to a Landcare or similar group involving other landholders that may be interested in form a Wildlife Management Conservancy (refer to brochure for definition)?
Yes No

4. Any other comments or additional information?