Grassy Ecosystems Management Kit

The Grassy Ecosystems Management Kit is a guide to developing conservation management plans, written by Sarah Sharp, Josh Dorrough, Rainer Rehwinkel, David Eddy and Anne Breckwoldt, and illustrated by Michael Bedingfield.

Managing Grassy Ecosystems

Grassy ecosystems (grasslands and grassy woodlands) in southern Australia have been changed and greatly reduced in area since European settlement. As our understanding of grassy ecosystems has grown, so too, has the recognition that if grassy ecosystems are to be conserved for the future they will require active management. However, grassy ecosystems can be complex and variable and often their conservation is one of many competing management goals. In such circumstances, without a clear management planning framework that takes into account the differing values, attributes and uses of a particular area management can seem difficult. In recognition of this a management kit has been developed to help people manage grassy ecosystems and to provide a framework for increasing our understanding of these ecosystems. The kit has a set of steps that lead to the development of a conservation management plan. Because landholders already have experience in managing their land, and have insights into the unique features of their sites, the processes outlined in the Management Kit can be modified to suit the site and its individual needs.

The Value of the Kit

The processes outlined in the kit show that:

  • conservation can complement existing and proposed land uses;
  • a more complete picture of a site can result in a plan and layout that is in tune with the land—this can help with ongoing management; and
  • thoughtful management can contribute to the recovery of grassy ecosystems.

The Approach

The Grassy Ecosystems Management Kit is a manual designed for the assessment of grassy vegetation and its associated fauna habitat. As a result, the kit is suitable for use by regional planning groups, Landcare groups, individual landholders and land managers. The focus of the kit is on implementing the best management practices, to maximise the natural functioning of remnant grassy ecosystem sites.


The Grassy Ecosystems Management Kit contains:

  1. Useful background information to help in conservation management of grassy sites.
  2. A workbook explaining how to carry out the steps.
  3. A case study showing a worked example.
  4. Further information and reference material.
  5. A list of common grassy ecosystem species and a key to their illustrations within the kit.
  6. A glossary of terms.
  7. Recording sheets for developing a management plan.
  8. A CD containing the entire kit .

Steps in the Management Kit

The step-by-step activities outlined in the kit can be used to develop a conservation management plan. The steps are designed to answer the following questions:

  • What are the features of the site?
  • What management aims are necessary to conserve grassy ecosystems on the site?
  • What activities are likely to fulfil these aims?
  • When will these activities occur?
  • Have the management activities produced the expected results?

The Grassy Ecosystem Management Kit is a collaborative project with contributions from ACT Territory and Municipal Services, NSW Department Environment and Conservation and Victorian Department Sustainability and Environment. The kit was funded from the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust and World Wildlife Fund Grassy Ecosystems Grants Scheme.


The Grassy Ecosystem Management Kit costs $30 (incl. GST) and $10 postage. If you would like a copy, please send a cheque or money order to:
Receiver of Public Moneys
Parks, Conservation and Lands
GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601.

If you would like further information about the Grassy Ecosystems Management Kit, please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.