Natural values and context
The Blue Tier Reserve provides 85 hecatres of habitat for rare and threatened species, including the Eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus), the Spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) and the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii). Tasmania’s largest endemic stag beetle, the Simson’s stag beetle (Hoplogonus simsonii), is a nationally threatened species and is restricted exclusively to this region.
The Blue Tier Reserve is a glacial refugium, with rainforest species dating back to 65 million years ago, when Australia was connected to the supercontinent of Gondwana and rainforests extensively covered the landmass. Myrtle beech rainforest (Nothofagus cunninghamii), Myrtle beech / Woolly tea tree rainforest (Leptospermum lanigerum), and wet forests crowned with Swamp gums (Eucalyptus regnans) have occupied these east-facing slopes since before the last ice age 18,000 years ago.
Rainforest flora and fauna
The rainforest canopy, with its old-growth tree hollows formed over hundreds of years, provides refuge for a number of iconic birds including the Tasmanian masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) and the Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchis funereus).
Many species of the rainforest are small and inconspicuous with the most diverse groups of organisms to be found on the forest floor. Ferns, mosses and spectacular fungi thrive in the damp, dark, cool environment, and a multitude of invertebrates complete the cycle of breaking down leaf litter, returning nutrients to the ecosystem.
Managing Blue Tier
The Blue Tier was protected by the TLC in 2012, and as a result of the previous isolation of the reserve there are few threats to the property. Therefore, the management focus is on communication with neighbouring landowners to ensure that the property remains in its current excellent condition.
Banner photograph: Andy Townsend