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James Fitzsimons


James Fitzsimons

Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy in Australia

James Fitzsimons is  Director of Conservation for the Australia Program where he oversees the organization’s conservation planning, science and policy functions for that country. This includes major conservation programs in the vast tropical savannas of northern Australia, the diverse central deserts, temperate estuaries of southern Australia, the wetlands and floodplains of the Murray-Darling Basin, and urban landscapes.

He is the author of numerous papers on practical conservation planning, protected area and land use policy and legislation and wildlife ecology and has co-edited four books (Innovation for 21st Century Conservation, Linking Australia’s Landscapes, Valuing Nature, and Big, Bold and Blue: Lessons from Australia's Marine Protected Areas).

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy he was a senior project officer with the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council developing recommendations for public land use along Australia’s largest river, the Murray. This resulted in a proposed 250% increase in the reservation of riparian, floodplain and wetland ecosystems. Prior to this he was with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, where he worked on protected area and conservation policy issues, and was instrumental in selecting and purchasing endangered grasslands, grassy woodlands and wetlands for addition to the National Reserve System - significantly increasing the reservation of these ecosystems in southeastern Australia.

Read James Fitzsimons's Full Biography

Selected Media

James in the News
Blogs by James

Publications

2016

Carr, B., Nias, D., Fitzsimons, J. & Gilmore, R. (2016). The Murray-Darling Basin Balanced Water Fund and the Environmental Water Trust – using markets and innovative financing to restore wetlands and floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin for financial, social and environmental outcomes. In: Proceedings of the 8th Australian Stream Management Conference (eds. Vietz, G.J., Flatley, A.J. & Rutherford, I.D.). Presented at the 8th Australian Stream Management Conference, River Basin Management Society, Leura, New South Wales, pp. 269–272.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2016). Carrion consumption by the swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor). Australian Mammalogy, doi: 10.1071/AM16017

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Thomas, J.L. (2016). Bronchocela cristatella (Green Crested Lizard). Diet and foraging behavior. Herpetological Review, 47, 462.

Fitzsimons, J. & Wescott, G. (2016). Big, bold and blue: lessons from Australia's marine protected areas. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Fitzsimons, J. & Wescott, G. (2016). Introduction: the expansion of Australia’s marine protected area networks. In: Big, bold and blue: lessons from Australia’s marine protected areas (eds. Fitzsimons, J. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 3–7.

Fitzsimons, J. & Wescott, G. (2016). Lessons from the expansion of Australia’s marine protected area networks: a synthesis. In: Big, bold and blue: lessons from Australia’s marine protected areas (eds. Fitzsimons, J. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 393–401.

Hardy, M.J., Fitzsimons, J.A., Bekessy, S.A. & Gordon, A. (2016). Exploring the permanence of conservation covenants. Conservation Letters, doi: 10.1111/conl.12243

Kusmanoff, A.M., Hardy, M.J., Fidler, F., Maffey, G., Raymond, C., Reed, M.S., Fitzsimons, J.A. & Bekessy, S.A. (2016). Framing the private land conservation conversation: strategic framing of the benefits of conservation participation could increase landholder engagement. Environmental Science & Policy, 61, 124–128.

Morán-Ordóñez, A., Whitehead, A.L., Luck, G.W., Cook, G.D., Maggini, R., Fitzsimons, J.A. & Wintle, B.A. (2016). Analysis of trade-offs between biodiversity, carbon farming and agricultural development in northern Australia reveals the benefits of strategic planning. Conservation Letters, doi: 10.1111/conl.12255

Rogers, K., Boon, P.I., Branigan, S., Duke, N.C., Field, C.D., Fitzsimons, J.A., Kirkman, H., Mackenzie, J.R. & Saintilan, N. (2016). The state of legislation and policy protecting Australia’s mangrove and salt marsh and their ecosystem services. Marine Policy, 72, 139–155.

Smith, F., Smillie, K., Fitzsimons, J., Lindsay, B., Wells, G., Marles, V., Hutchinson, J., O’Hara, B., Perrigo, T. & Atkinson, I. (2016). Reforms required to the Australian tax system to improve biodiversity conservation on private land. Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 33, 443–450.

2015

Figgis, P., Mackey, B., Fitzsimons, J., Irving, J. & Clarke, P. (eds.). (2015). Valuing nature: protected areas and ecosystem services. Science Informing Policy Symposium Series. Australian Committee for IUCN, Sydney.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2015). Private protected areas in Australia: current status and future directions. Nature Conservation, 10, 1–23.

Fitzsimons, J.A., Hale, L., Hancock, B. & Beck, M.W. (2015). Developing a marine conservation program in temperate Australia: determining priorities for action. Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs, 7, 85–93.

Gillies, C.L., Fitzsimons, J.A., Branigan, S., Hale, L., Hancock, B., Creighton, C., Alleway, H., Bishop, M.J., Brown, S., Chamberlain, D., Cleveland, B., Crawford, C., Crawford, M., Diggles, B., Ford, J.R., Hamer, P., Hart, A., Johnston, E., McDonald, T., McLeod, I., Pinner, B., Russell, K. & Winstanley, R. (2015). Scaling-up marine restoration efforts in Australia. Ecological Management and Restoration, 16, 84–85.

Jupp, T., Fitzsimons, J., Carr, B. & See, P. (2015). New partnerships for managing large desert landscapes: experiences from the Martu Living Deserts Project. The Rangeland Journal, 37, 571–582.

Koss, R., Wescott, G., Fitzsimons, J. & Hale, L. (2015). 'Bright spots' for estuary management in temperate Southern Australia. Australian Journal of Maritime & Ocean Affairs, 7, 94–107.

Mackey, B., Figgis, P., Fitzsimons, J., Irving, J. & Clarke, P. (2015). Introduction. In: Valuing nature: protected areas and ecosystem services, Science Informing Policy Symposium Series (eds. Figgis, P., Mackey, B., Fitzsimons, J., Irving, J. & Clarke, P.). Australian Committee for IUCN, Sydney, pp. 4–5.

Mackey, B., Figgis, P., Fitzsimons, J., Irving, J. & Clarke, P. (2015). Key directions for valuing ecosystem services and protected areas in Australia. In: Valuing nature: protected areas and ecosystem services, Science Informing Policy Symposium Series (eds. Figgis, P., Mackey, B., Fitzsimons, J., Irving, J. & Clarke, P.). Australian Committee for IUCN, Sydney, pp. 130–137.

Walton, N. & Fitzsimons, J. (2015). Payment for ecosystem services in practice – savanna burning and carbon abatement at Fish River, northern Australia. In: Valuing nature: protected areas and ecosystem services, Science Informing Policy Symposium Series (eds. Figgis, P., Mackey, B., Fitzsimons, J., Irving, J. & Clarke, P.). Australian Committee for IUCN, Sydney, pp. 78–83.

2014

Bradby, K., Fitzsimons, J.A., Del Marco, A., Driscoll, D.A., Ritchie, E.G., Lau, J., Bradshaw, C.J.A. & Hobbs, R.J. (2014). Ecological connectivity or Barrier Fence? Critical choices on the agricultural margins of Western Australia. Ecological Management and Restoration, 15, 180–190.

Fitzsimons, J. (2014). Australia. In: The futures of privately protected areas. IUCN, Gland, pp. 54–58.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2014). Notes on the distribution and breeding of the Manus Friarbird Philemon albitorques and other birds of small islands of the Admiralties Group, Papua New Guinea. Australian Field Ornithology, 31, 159–163.

Fitzsimons, J.A., Carlyon, K., Thomas, J.L. & Rose, A.B. (2014). The breeding diet of Wedge-tailed Eagles Aquila audax in the absence of rabbits: Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Corella, 38, 18–21.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Carr, C.B. (2014). Conservation covenants on private land: issues with measuring and achieving biodiversity outcomes in Australia. Environmental Management, 54, 606–616.

Fitzsimons, J., Heiner, M., McKenney, B., Sochi, K. & Kiesecker, J. (2014). Development by Design in Western Australia: overcoming offset obstacles. Land, 3, 167–187.

Fitzsimons, J., Tzaros, C., O’Connor, J., Ehmke, G. & Kerryn, H. (2014). Egrets, ducks... and Brown Treecreepers? The importance of of flooding and healthy floodplains for woodland birds. In: Birds of the Murray-Darling Basin. BirdLife Australia Conservation Statement. BirdLife Australia, Melbourne, pp. 30–33.

Tasirin, J.S. & Fitzsimons, J.A. (2014). Javan (White-vented) Myna Acridotheres javanicus and Pale-bellied Myna A. cinereus in North Sulawesi. Kukila, 18, 27–31.

Taylor, M.F.J., Fitzsimons, J. & Sattler, P. (2014).Building nature’s safety net 2014: a decade of protected area achievements in Australia. WWF-Australia, Sydney.

Weston, M.A., Fitzsimons, J.A., Wescott, G., Miller, K.K., Ekanayake, K.B. & Schneider, T. (2014). Bark in the park: a review of domestic dogs in parks. Environmental Management, 54, 373–382.

2013 

Crosthwaite, J., Fitzsimons, J., Stanley, J. & Greacen, J. (2013). Networking the networks: coordinating conservation management networks in Victoria. In: Linking Australia’s landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks (eds. Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 209–220.

Cutten, D., Goodyear, G., Tarrant, T., Fitzsimons, J. & Palmer, G. (2013). Rails following snakes: predator-response behaviour, potential prey, prey-flushing or curiosity? Australian Field Ornithology, 30, 97.

Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G. (2013). Challenges and opportunities for linking Australia’s landscapes: a synthesis. In: Linking Australia’s landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks (eds. Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 287–296.

Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G. (2013). Lessons from large-scale conservation networks in Australia. Parks, 19, 115–125.

Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G. (2013). Linking Australia’s landscapes: an introduction. In: Linking Australia’s landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks (eds. Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 3–6.

Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G. (eds.). (2013). Linking Australia’s landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Fitzsimons, J. & Wescott, G. (2013). The importance of interdisciplinary research in conservation networks: lessons from south-eastern Australia. In: Linking Australia’s landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks (eds. Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 277–284.

Game, E.T., Fitzsimons, J.A., Lipsett-Moore, G. & McDonald-Madden, E. (2013). Subjective risk assessment for planning conservation projects. Environmental Research Letters, 8, 045027.

Mackenzie, D. & Fitzsimons, J. (2013). From Danggali to Riverland: experiences from the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve, South Australia. In: Linking Australia’s landscapes: lessons and opportunities from large-scale conservation networks (eds. Fitzsimons, J., Pulsford, I. & Wescott, G.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 65–74.

2012 

Elsner, W.K., Mitchell, A.T. & Fitzsimons, J.A. (2012). Distribution of the long-footed potoroo (Potorous longipes) and spot-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) in the Goolengook Forest, East Gippsland, Victoria. Australian Mammalogy, 34, 100-107.

Figgis, P., Fitzsimons, J. & Irving, J. (eds) (2012). Innovation for 21st Century Conservation. Australian Committee for IUCN, Sydney.

Fitzsimons, J. (2012). Cows, cockies and atlases: use and abuse of biodiversity monitoring in environmental decision making. In: Biodiversity monitoring in Australia (eds D.B. Lindenmayer & P. Gibbons). pp. 91–99. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2012). Green Rosellas Platycercus caledonicus nesting in artificial structures. Australian Field Ornithology, 29, 50-53.

Fitzsimons, J. & Looker, M. (2012). Innovative approaches to land acquisition and conservation management: the case of Fish River Station, Northern Territory. In: Innovation for 21st Century Conservation (eds Figgis, P., Fitzsimons, J. & Irving, J.). pp. 78-85. Australian Committee for IUCN, Sydney.

Fitzsimons, J.A.
, Meijaard, E., Hunow, I., Prawiradilaga, D., Thomas. J.L. & Tasirin, J.S. (2012). Diet of the Speckled Boobook Ninox punctulata in north Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forktail, 28, 169-171.

Fitzsimons, J.
, Russell-Smith, J., James, G., Vigilante, T., Lipsett-Moore, G., Morrison, J. & Looker, M. (2012). Insights into the biodiversity and social benchmarking components of the Northern Australian fire management and carbon abatement programmes. Ecological Management & Restoration, 13, 51-57.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Thomas, J.L. (2012). Ground-foraging techniques of Welcome Swallows Hirundo neoxena, including an instance of kleptoparasitism. Australian Field Ornithology, 29, 160–165.

Halliday, L. Castley, J.G., Fitzsimons, J.A., Tran, C. & Warnken, J. (2012). Fire management on private conservation lands: Knowledge, perceptions and actions of landholders in eastern Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 21, 197-209.

Lindenmayer, D.B, Gibbons, P., Bourke, M., Burgman, M., Dickman, C., Ferrier, S., Fitzsimons, J., Freudenberger, D., Garnett, S.T., Groves, C., Hobbs, R.J., Kingsford, R.T., Krebs, C., Legge, S., Lowe, A.J., McLean, R., Montambault, J., Possingham, H., Radford, J., Robinson, D., Smallbone, L., Thomas, D., Varcoe, T., Vardon, M., Wardle, G., Woinarski, J. & Zerger, A. (2012). Improving biodiversity monitoring. Austral Ecology, 37, 285–294.

2011 

Aldous, A., Fitzsimons, J., Richter, B. & Bach, L. (2011). Droughts, floods and freshwater ecosystems: Evaluating climate change impacts and developing adaptation strategies. Marine and Freshwater Research, 62, 223-231.

Argeloo, M. & Fitzsimons, J. (2011). Predation of a small passerine by the Purple-winged Roller Coracias temminckii, an endemic species of Sulawesi. Kukila, 15, 115-117.

Coffey, B., Fitzsimons, J.A. & Gormly, R. (2011). Strategic public land use assessment and planning in Victoria, Australia: Four decades of trailblazing but where to from here? Land Use Policy, 28, 306-313.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2011). Mislabeling marine protected areas and why it matters – a case study of Australia. Conservation Letters, 4, 340-345.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2011). Predation on a Blotched Bluetongue Lizard (Tiliqua nigroletea) by a Highlands Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi) in the Blue Mountains, Australia. Herpetology Notes, 4, 259-260.

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2011). Southward range expansion of the Mourning Gecko Lepidodactylus lugubris on mainland Australia and nearshore islands. Australian Zoologist, 35, 619-621.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Antos, M.J. (2011). Ecological notes on the East Gippsland Burrowing Crayfish Engaeus orientalis, including burrow structure and associated fauna. Australian Zoologist, 35, 853-857.

Fitzsimons, J.A., Antos, M.J. & Palmer, G.C. (2011). When more is less: Urban remnants support high bird abundance but diversity varies. Pacific Conservation Biology, 17, 97–109.

Fitzsimons, J.A., Peake, P., Frood, D., Mitchell, M., Withers, N., White, M. and Webster, R. (2011). Flooding requirements for biodiversity values along the Victorian floodplain of the Murray Valley. Victorian Naturalist, 128, 48¬-85.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Thomas, J.L. (2011). Fiji’s collared kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris vitensis) do hunt for fish in inland waters. Notornis, 58, 163-164.

Fitzsimons, J.A., Thomas, J.L. & Argeloo, M. (2011). Occurrence and distribution of established and new introduced bird species in north Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forktail, 27, 23-28.

Pasquini, L., Fitzsimons, J.A., Cowell, S., Brandon, K. & Wescott, G. (2011). The establishment of large private nature reserves by conservation NGOs: key factors for successful implementation. Oryx, 45, 373–380.

Peake, P., Fitzsimons, J., Frood, D., Mitchell, M., Withers, N, White, M. & Webster, R. (2011). A new approach to determining environmental flow requirements: Sustaining the natural values of floodplains of the southern Murray-Darling Basin. Ecological Management & Restoration, 12, 128-137.

Taylor MFJ, Sattler PS, Fitzsimons J, Curnow C, Beaver D, Gibson L, Llewellyn G (2011). Building nature’s safety net 2011. The state of protected areas for Australia’s ecosystems and wildlife. WWF-Australia, Sydney.

Wescott, G. & Fitzsimons, J. (2011). Stakeholder involvement and interplay in coastal zone management and marine protected area planning. In: Marine Resources Management (eds Gullett, W., Schofield, C. & Vince, J.). pp. 225-238. LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney.

Woinarski, J.C.Z., Legge, S., Fitzsimons, J.A., Traill, B.J., Burbidge, A.A., Fisher, A., Firth, R.S.C., Gordon, I.J., Griffiths, A.D., Johnson, C., McKenzie, N.L., Palmer, C., Radford, I., Rankmore, B., Ritchie, E., Ward, S. & Ziembicki, M. (2011). The disappearing mammal fauna of northern Australia: context, cause and response. Conservation Letters, 4, 192-201.

2010 

Fitzsimons, J.A. (2010). Notes on the roost sites of the Sulawesi Masked Owl Tyto rosenbergii. Forktail, 26, 142-145.

Fitzsimons, J., Legge, S., Traill, B. &Woinarski, J. (2010). Into oblivion? The disappearing native mammals of northern Australia. The Nature Conservancy, Melbourne.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Rose, A.B. (2010). Diet of Powerful Owls Ninox strenua in inner city Melbourne parks, Victoria. Australian Field Ornithology, 27, 76-80.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Thomas, J.L. (2010). Ctenotus regius (Regal Striped Skink). Predation. Herpetological Review, 41, 76-77.

2009 

Antos, M.J., Fitzsimons, J.A. & Dutson, G. (2009). A high altitude observation of the Beautiful Firetail Stagonopleura bella from East Gippsland, Victoria. Corella, 33, 18-21.

White, J.G., Fitzsimons, J.A. Palmer, G.C. & Antos, M.J. (2009). Surviving urbanization: Maintaining bird species diversity in urban Melbourne. Victorian Naturalist, 126, 73-78.

2008 

Fitzsimons, J.A., Marshall, D. & Rose A.B. (2008). Diet of the Eastern Barn Owl Tyto javanica on the Patho Plains, northern Victoria. Australian Field Ornithology, 25, 145-148.

Fitzsimons, J.A.
& Rose, A.B. (2008). Notes on the diet of the northern Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae kimberli in north Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 52, 148.

Fitzsimons, J.A.
& Wescott, G. (2008). Ecosystem conservation in multi-tenure reserve networks: The contribution of land outside of publicly protected areas. Pacific Conservation Biology, 14, 250–262.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Wescott, G. (2008). Getting the measure of marine protected areas: Surface area or volume as measures for reserve system auditing? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 18, 518-526.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Wescott, G. (2008). Evolving governance arrangements in multi-tenure reserve networks. Environmental Conservation, 35, 5-7.

Fitzsimons, J.A. & Wescott, G. (2008). The role of multi-tenure reserve networks in improving reserve design and connectivity. Landscape and Urban Planning, 85, 163-173.

Fitzsimons, J.A., Williams, C., Walsh, V., FitzSimons, P. & U’Ren, G. (2008). Ecological attributes of strategic land acquisitions for addition to Victoria's public protected area estate (2006-2007). Victorian Naturalist, 125, 140-149.

Mansergh, I., Cheal, D. & Fitzsimons, J.A. (2008). Future landscapes in south-eastern Australia: the role of protected areas and biolinks in adaptation to climate change. Biodiversity, 9 (3-4), 59-70.

Marshall, D. & Fitzsimons, J.A. (2008). Challenges for native grassland conservation on Victoria’s Northern Plains. Australasian Plant Conservation, 16(4), 24-25.

Palmer, G.C., Fitzsimons, J.A., Antos, M.J. & White, J.G. (2008). Determinants of native avian richness in suburban remnant vegetation: Implications for conservation planning. Biological Conservation, 141, 2329-2341.

Pre-2008

For publications pre-2008 click here.

James Fitzsimons is  Director of Conservation for the Australia Program where he oversees the organization’s conservation planning, science and policy functions for that country. This includes major conservation programs in the vast tropical savannas of northern Australia, the diverse central deserts, temperate estuaries of southern Australia, the wetlands and floodplains of the Murray-Darling Basin, and urban landscapes.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy he was a senior project officer with the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council developing recommendations for public land use along Australia’s largest river, the Murray. This resulted in a proposed 250% increase in the reservation of riparian, floodplain and wetland ecosystems. Prior to this he was with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, where he worked on protected area and conservation policy issues, and was instrumental in selecting and purchasing endangered grasslands, grassy woodlands and wetlands for addition to the National Reserve System - significantly increasing the reservation of these ecosystems in southeastern Australia.

His PhD research focused on the ecological, social, governance and legal aspects of multi-tenure reserve networks – networks which sought to integrate the management of public and private conservation lands. He is the author of numerous papers on practical conservation planning, protected area and land use policy and legislation and wildlife ecology and has co-edited four books (Innovation for 21st Century Conservation, Linking Australia’s Landscapes, Valuing Nature, and Big, Bold and Blue: Lessons from Australia's Marine Protected Areas).

He is an Adjunct Professor at Deakin University where he is involved in a number of cooperative research projects ranging from investigating avian ecology in urban environments, aspects of reservation in freshwater ecosystems, conservation auditing, and the identification and establishment of marine protected areas. He owns, manages and conducts research on 130 ha of threatened box-ironbark woodland in south eastern Australia, which is home to numerous threatened species including Squirrel Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Bush Stone-curlew and Euroa Guinea-flower.

Contact

Tony Jupp
Media Contact
Phone: (+61) 428 945 560
E-mail: tony_jupp@tnc.org

Areas of Expertise

  • Conservation Policy
  • Conservation Planning
  • Public Land Use

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