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Advice on minimising potential negative impacts relating to recreational activities

What do we mean?

Recreational activities which can impact on threatened species include bushwalking and camping, water sports, off-road driving, rock climbing, and walking pets in native areas. Impacts of recreational activities include direct damage to vegetation and other natural habitats (rocks, logs, soil and litter) through trampling, and disturbance of threatened species through increased noise and movement.

General points to consider

  • Recreational activities which take place in native vegetation, in un-vegetated natural habitats such as rock faces and screes, and in and around waterways have the potential to affect a wide range of species.
  • When camping, consider using a fuel stove rather than an open fire.
  • When bushwalking, stick to walking tracks and established camp sites.
  • Avoid treading on areas of mossy or herbaceous vegetation as this is more easily damaged by trampling.
  • When gardening, always dispose of garden waste appropriately - many weeds can survive in waste and be spread when waste is dumped in bush areas.
  • If your garden abuts onto native bush, look out for any garden 'escapees' - some cultivated plants can spread from gardens into natural areas and become weeds.
  • Off-road driving has the potential for severe impacts on native vegetation and threatened species. See the Tread Lightly website for more information on responsible off-road driving practices in Tasmania's natural areas.
  • Some threatened species are more vulnerable to disturbance at certain times of year such as the breeding season or when raising young. Consider re-arranging recreational activities to avoid these times, particularly in areas where threatened species are known to occur.
  • Land managers such as the Parks & Wildlife Service may set restrictions on recreational activities within the land they are managing. Always obey signage in these areas.
  • A key threat to a number of Tasmania's native galaxias fish species is the introduction of trout to un-stocked waters. When fishing in Tasmania's waterways, always follow Inland Fisheries guidelines in relation to live bait, stocking of waterways, and movement of aquatic plants and animals between waterbodies.
  • Important! Alert the Inland Fisheries Service to the presence of exotic fish (e.g. trout, Redfin Perch, European Carp) in new areas.
  • Take special precautions to avoid spreading weed seeds and diseases when travelling through native vegetation. The fungal disease which causes root rot (Phytophthora) is spread in contaminated soil (for example, on boots, waders and other camping equipment), while the New Zealand algal pest 'rock snot' (Didymo) which has not yet established in Tasmania clogs up native waterways can be spread in mud adhering to fishing and water-sport equipment.
  • See the Check, Clean, Disinfect, Dry brochure for information on minimising the spread of weeds and diseases when visiting natural areas, and the NRE Keeping it Clean manual for useful advice on avoiding the spread of freshwater pests and pathogens.
  • The Leave No Trace website also provides general information on responsible use of natural areas.


The agencies most commonly responsible for regulating this activity are listed below (but refer also to the Permits section on the Planning Ahead page):