The island of Tasmania supports a very diverse range of habitats and plant species, including more than 1000 lichens. It has an extensive system of formal reserves, accounting for approximately 40% of its total area, established mainly for their scenic, wilderness and biological values. However, due to lack of data, non-vascular plants have not been specifically considered in the delimitation of reserves. The major threat to lichens in Tasmania is habitat destruction. Although a significant proportion of species are probably adequately conserved by default, many others are totally confined to areas where current land use practices may place them at risk. Developing a conservation strategy for lichens is hampered by a lack of knowledge of the taxonomy, ecology and distribution of most species. In this paper problems and possible strategies for the conservation of lichens in Tasmania are discussed, using as a case study the family Parmeliaceae, which amounts to approx. 130 species. Reserving land, formal listing of rare or threatened species, and identifying critical habitats for particular target species are seen as critical components of a lichen conservation strategy. However, the management of lichen habitats may be very complex and special prescriptions may be required. Priorities for future research include: exploring the extent to which vascular plants and communities or environmental domains are reliable surrogates for identifying critical lichen habitats; basic inventory and taxonomic work; surveying data-deficient taxa; and sampling poorly studied habitats. Educating the wider community about the importance of lichens is also important.