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Learning from agri-environment schemes in Australia

List of figures

Participants at the 2014 workshop on agri-environment schemes in Canberra

Figure 1.1: Do our agricultural landscapes hold the key to protecting our declining biodiversity?

Figure 1.2: Agri-environment researchers and practitioners in a five-year-old WOPR site

Figure 1.3: An Environmental Stewardship Program site — a box gum grassy woodland in which grazing has been modified to protect the woodland’s natural values

Figure 2.1: Graham Fifield (left) listens to farmer Bob Spiller talking about his experience with Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation

Figure 2.2: Over time, landholders have increased the size of their linear plantings

Figure 2.3: A before and after photo of a WOPR project near Bookham, NSW

Figure 3.1: A sign on the gate of a property involved in the Box Gum Grassy Woodland Project

Figure 3.2: A reptile monitoring station within a Box Gum Grassy Woodland Project site

Figure 3.3: A native skink found in a monitoring station in a Box Gum Grassy Woodland Project site

Figure 4.1: Farmers are better able to engage with environmental protection on their land where such work takes into account farm-scale realities

Figure 4.2: Frogmore Swamp is a wildlife refuge on the Moolort Plains

Figure 4.3: Cows grazing in the Corner Inlet, near Wilsons Promontory, Gippsland, Victoria

Figure 5.1: Greening Australia conducts a WOPR field day. Farmers and NRM officers are being shown over one of the first WOPR sites

Figure 5.2: Direct seeding of trees has successfully reduced the cost and increased the diversity of native vegetation restoration

Figure 5.3: eNGOs have purchased whole properties in strategic locations in southern Western Australia. These have formed the backbone of the biolink called Gondwana Link

Figure 6.1: Cattle in a UK field ringed by stone walls

Figure 6.2: Hedgerows can be now be counted as part of Ecological Focus Areas on farms

Figure 7.1: Early measures in agri-environment policy focused on community-based NRM

Figure 7.2: The evolving focus of Australian NRM programs

Figure 8.1: Wasps help to control pests in agricultural systems and pollinate crops and native species

Figure 8.2: A wheat crop amongst bushland

Figure 8.3: This framework highlights ecosystem services that are most relevant to farmers

Figure 9.1: An example of land sharing in southern Australia, illustrating the coexistence of agriculture and biodiversity

Figure 9.2: A bee pollinating a lupin flower on a farm in western NSW

Figure 9.3: Remnant vegetation surrounded by wheat crops in New South Wales, demonstrating a land sparing approach

Figure 11.1: Conceptual flow for the advancement of agri-environment schemes through incorporation of scale-effects

Figure 13.1: Conducting research on pastoralists’ participation in contractual biodiversity conservation at Hayfield Station in the Northern Territory

Figure 13.2: The Einasleigh Uplands are one landscape within northern Australian tropical savannas

Figure 13.3: The brolga (Grus rubicunda) is one species that could benefit from environmental management in tropical savannas

Figure 14.1: A brown honeyeater feeding its young

Figure 14.2: Effect of the proportion of native vegetation on land value by property size over time 6

Figure 15.1: The cost-effectiveness of agri-environment schemes can be influenced by many factors, from the location of sites to the specific conservation techniques used

Figure 16.1: There are numerous transaction costs associated with agri-environment schemes, including compliance monitoring and program evaluation

Figure 17.1: Failed revegetation project in northern Victoria. Effective decision metrics can help to identify and prioritise projects that are more likely to succeed

Figure 18.1: Conservation actions can generate private benefits — for example, addressing land degradation issues, such as erosion, that impact on agricultural production

Figure 18.2: Recommended efficient policy mechanisms based on a simple set of rules

Figure 18.3: Efficient policy mechanisms for encouraging land use on private land, refined to account for various complexities described in the text

Figure 19.1: A riparian zone near Euroa, Victoria, that has been fenced and replanted with a mix of native species

Figure 19.2: Simplified representation of mean agri-environment program outcomes, contrasting mean change over the course of investment in intervention sites against mean background change and mean change in reference sites

Figure 20.1: Increasing the conservation status of threatened species such as the hooded robin (Melanodryas cucullata) is a key motivation for many agri-environment schemes

Figure 20.2: Agri-environment schemes often prioritise sites for investment based on the total biodiversity that occurs on a site, rather than the gain in biodiversity that is likely to occur with investment

Figure 20.3: Higher priorities for conservation are those sites that have high irreplaceability and high vulnerability, as indicated in green

Figure 20.4: A generic species-area curve indicating the predicted gain in species richness with the same conservation effort in a smaller patch or highly cleared landscape compared with a larger patch or more intact landscape

Figure 22.1: A mixed agricultural landscape showing linear plantings, patches of remnant native vegetation, and plantings in the middle of the paddock

Figure 22.2: INFFER team members discuss the protection of environmental assets with landholders in north central Victoria

Figure 23.1: A native tree planted in a farm paddock in south east Australia

Figure 23.2: A failed effort at native revegetation on a farm in NSW

Figure 23.3: Rob Fraser at the agri-environment scheme workshop discussing how the UK society values the country’s agricultural landscapes

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