Conservation Management Networks

Conservation Management Network LogoNature doesn’t know the difference between public and privately-owned land, so conserving biodiversity needs cooperation between private landholders, public agencies and the broader community. The Victorian Government actively supports Conservation Management Networks (CMNs), which brings these groups together.

There are thirteen CMNs in Victoria as listed below. Some of these have been established by government while others have been established by other groups.

What is a Conservation Management Network?

A CMN focuses on a local ecological community – or a group of plants and animals that coexist in nature – such as rainforest, native grassland or woodland. Members work to protect threatened species like the endangered Bush Stone-curlew, Striped Legless Lizard, Malleefowl, and the vulnerable Powerful Owl. Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. Most of our native plants and animals only occur here, and many of these are found on private land.

  • is a network of sites with native vegetation
  • is a network of people who work together to protect and restore these sites, and also work to expand and link them across the landscape
  • works closely with local Landcare, government agencies and nongovernment organizations
  • works on both public and private land with site-based activities like revegetation, and addressing landscape-wide problems like tree die-back, weeds and foxes
  • has a strong focus on community education
Members of a CMN include:
  • interested private landholders
  • managers of remnant vegetation on public land
  • other interested community members

Networks across the Landscape

The physical area of a CMN spans the landscape, linking protected areas for biodiversity. Remnant vegetation on private land is linked through revegetation to scattered parcels of public land and to larger reserves.

There are currently thirteen CMNs in Victoria, each with their own direction and links to local community but all working broadly to a statewide Strategic Plan.

The thirteen CMNs in Victoria

Broken Boosey CMN

  • This CMN focuses on protecting Box-Ironbark forests and woodlands. The CMN area covers approximately 3,500 square kilometres and includes Broken Boosey State Park and a number of private properties along 200km of the Broken and Boosey Rivers, in the Goulburn-Broken catchment. The CMN was established under the State government’s Box-Ironbark Program in 2002.
  • The area is home to a number of threatened species including the Bush Stone-curlew, Superb Parrot and the Brolga.
  • The CMN is currently coordinating a nest box project to provide habitat for Sugar Gliders and other tree-dwelling native animals.
For more information see the Broken Boosey CMN website
Dickie Swamp, north of Tungamah, Victoria

Wedderburn CMN

  • The Wedderburn CMN covers approximately 170,000 ha between the townships of Wedderburn and Wychitella, in the North Central catchment area. The area includes fragmented public land blocks and freehold properties important for conservation of Box-Ironbark forests and woodlands.
  • The Malleefowl is the signature species of this CMN. The CMN undertakes a number of activities to help protect Malleefowl including habitat enhancement works.
  • The CMN is involved in facilitating the purchase and covenanting land for conservation in their local area.
For more information see the Wedderburn CMN website
Landholders doing a farm chemical users course

Whroo Goldfields CMN

  • Whroo Goldfields CMN spans a diamond-shaped area of reserves and private land within the Box-Ironbark region of the Goulburn Broken catchment. The area includes the central Victorian towns of Puckapunyal, Costerfield, Rushworth and Greytown, and the Puckapunyal Military Area.
  • The Whroo Goldfields CMN opeares a coordinated fox control program in the area surrounding Puckapunyal Army Base. Local landholders bait foxes on private land at the same time as land managers at Puckapunyal Army Base are carrying out their annual fox control program. In 2009-2010 the CMN coordinated the baiting of more than 70 000 ha of public and private land.
  • The CMN is also involved in coordinating a nest box program. With over 300 nestboxes recently constructed and installed on public land, the Whroo Goldfields CMN is in the first stages of what looks to be like a successful squirrel glider, phascogale and sugar glider ‘housing program’. Although only recently installed, it was found during a recent survey, there are already signs of nestbox habitation by these threatened species”
For more information visit the Whroo Goldfields CMN website.
Red Fox. Photo: Jim Castles

Mid-Loddon CMN

  • The Mid-Loddon CMN was established in 2007 following the success of the two CMNs already established in the Box-Ironbark region.The Mid-Loddon CMN includes Lockwood State Forest, Shelbourne Nature Conservation Reserve and a number of other reserves and adjoining private properties in the North Central catchment region. The area contains rare box and red gum woodlands. Rare and threatened species in the area include the Bush Stone-curlew, Tree Goanna and Brush-tailed Phascogale.
  • Mid-Loddon CMN is working with local community members to implement a large scale fox baiting program for the Bush Stone-curlew and is undertaking an ecological thinning project in the Shelbourne Nature Conservation Reserve.
A pair of Bush Stone-curlew

East Gippsland Rainforest CMN

  • The East Gippsland Rainforest CMN focuses on the protection and restoration of East Gippsland’s rainforests from the Mitchell River to the state border, many of which are nationally significant. The CMN recently completed a submission to the East Gippsland Shire Council Urban Design Framework (UDF) which stimulated debate about the importance of rainforest to the local community.
  • Members include the Shire, Trust for Nature, landholders with rainforest (many under covenant) and other interested people.
  • A Koorie works team is being trained in protection and regeneration of rainforest. This team is implementing restoration works on priority CMN sites on public and private land.
For more information visit the East Gippsland Rainforest CMN website
Sugar Gliders in nest box. Photo: Les Goldsmith

Gippsland Plains CMN

  • The Gippsland Plains CMN works to protect scattered remnant vegetation across private and public land on the Gippsland Plains. It is located in the West Gippsland and East Gippsland catchment areas.
  • A current program to protect scattered trees involves assessing the trees for wildlife presence and providing subsidies for fencing and regeneration. CMN member Gerard Deery has had a pair of White-Bellied Sea Eagles nesting in scattered trees on his property for 15-20 years. He was keen to be involved in the program and “anything that might lead to a more long term future for them”.
  • The CMN has undertaken a number of management trials with new and innovative techniques to restore woodland ecosystems. A regular newsletter is circulated sharing new ideas and techniques between landholders.
For more information visit the Gippsland Plains CMN website.
Gippsland Plains and East Gippsland Rainforest CMNs walk and talk

Northern Plains CMN

  • Between the towns of Echuca in the east, Gunbower in the north and Mitiamo to the south, the Northern Plains CMN is a network of grassland and grassy woodland sites covering the Patho Plains and Terricks Ridge in the North Central catchment area. Natural lowland grasslands of south eastern Australia have been fragmented to such an extent that they are considered one of the most threatened ecosystems in Australia.
  • The CMN has been working actively with community and government agencies to manage the important remnants that exist. These are home to species such as the Hooded Scaly Foot, Brolga and Plains-wanderer.
  • The CMN has recently completed a Plains-wanderer survey and banding project in partnership with Parks Victoria, where birds were caught and banded on both public and private grassland properties. This project will help identify optimal and sub-optimal habitat for the Plains-wanderer and determin home range sizes.
  • The CMN has also completed a number of woodland restoration projects involving fencing for stock exclusion, rabbit warren destruction and understorey enhancement works such as direct seeding, tubestock planting and weed spraying.
For more information visit the Northern Plains CMN website.
Plains-wanderer. Photo: Ben Thomas

Victorian Volcanic Plains CMN

  • The Victorian Volcanic Plains (VVP) CMN was established in 2009. It brings together farmers and other land managers of native grasslands on the VVP, regardless of land tenure.
  • The CMN aims to work together towards a strategic approach to grassland knowledge exchange, leading to increased collaboration, enhanced conservation outcomes and a greater landscape scale approach. The group collaborates across the VVP, working with various organisations, individuals and community groups, to build on existing projects enabling a coordinated approach across project extension activities.
  • Supported project activities include the development of roadside management plans, whole farm plans for landholders with native grasslands, field days of innovative grassland restoration techniques, covenanting, and capacity building activities across the VVP.
For more information visit the Victorian Volcanic Plains CMN website
Grasslands Team, Victorian Volcanic Plains

Longwood Plains CMN

  • The Longwood Plains CMN formed from an existing community organisation in 2001. It covers an area from from Seymour to Murchirson and across to Violet Town on the riverine plains of the Goulburn River and tributaries in northeast Victoria.
  • The CMN focuses on habitat protection and restoration. Recently the CMN has focused on creekline protection, with more that 20 kilometres of creekline fenced and protected in the last two years.
  • The CMN also undertakes targeted threatened species conservation, including activities to protect the endangered Grey-crowned Babbler. Recent analysis has show the habitat enhancement works have made a significant difference to the long-term numbers of babblers.
Balmattum Nature Conservation Reserve. Photo: Doug Robinson

Kara Kara CMN

  • The Kara Kara CMN was established in late 2010. It is committed to protecting and enhancing habitat critical to the survival of our woodland birds and other species, primarily through the creation and maintenance of well-managed bio-links.
  • The CMN focuses on both public and private land in the Western Goldfields. It extends from St Arnaud in the north to Moonambel in the south, and from Morrl Morrl in the west to the Avoca River in the east - with the St Arnaud Range National Park and adjacent reserves being core areas.
  • Kara Kara membership is open to all interested local community groups and individuals. Membership now includes Landcare groups; St Arnaud Field Naturalists; Parks Victoria; North Central CMA; Bush Heritage; Trust for Nature; Wedderburn and Mid-Loddon CMNS, CFA, Department of Sustainability and Environment and local government.
Kara Kara CMN

Lower Goulburn CMN

  • The Lower Goulburn Conservation Management Network was established in 2011. It covers a slice of land along the Goulburn River, downstream of Reedy Swamp in Shepparton to the confluence of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers. It sits between the Broken Boosey, Whroo Goldfields and Northern Plains CMNs.
  • The catalyst for forming the LGCMN was the creation of the Lower Goulburn National Park. It brings together everyone with an interest in the area. Land managers, landholders and anyone who cares about this special environment is welcome to join. The CMN has the support of local landholders, three local councils, and all of the relevant land managers.
  • Proposed activities for the CMN include woodland bird surveys, community education events, carp trap monitoring, electro fishing, weeding mapping, fencing local riparian zones to enhance water quality, installing nest boxes, and cultural heritage sites conservation.
Goulburn River

Strathbogie Ranges CMN

  • The Strathbogie ranges CMN was formed in early 2011. The SRCMN will initially focus on wetlands (springsoaks & bogs), rocky outcrops and high conservation value forests. The CMN involves 6 landcare groups, several conservation-orientated NGOs, government agencies, and university researchers.
  • The Strathbogie Ranges CMN area includes all areas within the major Highways that surround the Ranges and that pass through Benalla, Seymour and Yea and Merton (Hume Fwy, Goulburn Valley Hwy, Maroondah Hwy, Midland Hwy).

For more information visit the Strathbogie Ranges CMN website.


Otway Community Conservation Network

  • The Otway Community Conservation Network was established in 2011, and already has a very large membership. It aims to protect and enhance ecological values in the Otway Plain and Ranges coastal regions. It coordinates community action to manage two significant weed species, Boneseed and Bridal Creeper.
  •  The network covers an area from Anglesea to Port Campbell and up to Colac and operates across public and private land. The Network is made up of 3 shires, 2 management committees, over 20 landcare networks and groups, 12 Friends groups, several other community organisations, as well as 4 government agencies.

For more information visit the Otway Community Conservation Network.


Futher Resources

In 2008, the supporting agencies of several Victorian CMNs published the following strategic plan:

CMN Strategic Plan - full version [PDF File - 897.3 KB]

CMN Strategic Plan - accessible version [File - 1.5 MB]

The following brochure contains information on CMNs in Victoria (it does not include the Victorian Volcanic Plains CMN and Longwood Plains CMN as they were established after publication):

Conservation Management Networks brochure [PDF File - 1.9 MB]

Find out more about CMNs

To find out more about Conservation Management Networks in your area, contact the regional office of your Catchment Management Authority, Trust for Nature, Parks Victoria or the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

CMNs in other states include - Grassy Box Woodlands CMN, Far South Coast CMN, Monaro Grasslands CMN and Southern Tablelands Grassy Ecosystem CMN.

Please note: Document(s) on this page are presented in PDF format. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download a copy free from the Adobe website.