Tasmania | Declared in June 1999
Preminghana Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), which was declared in June 1999, covers more than 500 hectares of land in north-west Tasmania bordering the Southern Ocean. It is managed by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.
Formerly privately owned by the Van Diemen’s Land Company, the land was compulsorily acquired by the Tasmanian Government in the late 1970s because of its historic Aboriginal engraving sites. It was made a State Reserve and a protected Aboriginal site under Tasmanian legislation, and was one of 11 areas returned to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community under the Aboriginal Lands Act 1995.
Preminghana is of environmental, heritage and cultural significance to Tasmanian Aboriginal people. In the 1800s Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from the region. It is home to the beautiful Tasmanian skipper butterfly, a rare species found nowhere else in the world. Rich in cultural and heritage values, the land is an important cultural and recreational asset to Tasmania’s Aboriginal people, and its beautiful wetlands, coastal grasslands, heathlands and woodlands attract tourists and surfers.
Erosion control, weed eradication and feral animal removal are the primary IPA land management activities carried out to protect the land and its cultural sites. IPA land managers use traditional burning and weed control to preserve the landscape and Aboriginal rehabilitation techniques to protect the engravings.
Monitoring and surveying have proved useful tools in the conservation of cultural sites. Regular gorse removal by burning, hand removal and poisoning prevents weeds spreading into larger areas, and fencing and vehicle restrictions help manage feral animals. Other land management activities carried out at Preminghana IPA include seed collection, removal of rubbish and marine debris, and maintenance of visitor facilities.
The IPA is managed under the following International Union for Conservation of Nature category:
- Category VI – Protected Area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.