Natural values and context
The Eggs Islands Reserve includes significant areas of endangered black gum (Eucalyptus ovata) forest in excellent condition. The ecosystem provides prime habitat for a wide range of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Short-beaked echidnas and pademelons are among the many animals at home here. The forests, wetlands, riverbanks and marshes of the Egg Islands provide foraging or nesting habitat for 87 Australian bird species. The endangered grey goshawk (Accipter novaehollandiae), swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) and wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax) have all been officially recorded in the vicinity.
Of particular importance is the presence of the globally endangered Australasian bittern. The cryptic and partly nocturnal Australasian Bittern, with its shy habits, liking for densely vegetated wetland, and talent for camouflage, has a loud booming call, mainly heard at dusk and dawn throughout the breeding season. It is thought by many to be the origin of the Aboriginal legend of the Bunyip, the spirit creature who lurks in swamps, creeks and waterholes, eating crayfish and making loud terrifying noises at night.
Managing the Egg Islands
The TLC and our neighbours, the Parks and Wildlife Service, have developed priorities for ongoing management of the cultural and natural values of the Egg Islands. With help from our wonderful volunteers, scientific surveys and weed control have been conducted over many years with a continued requirement to monitor and manage.
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy purchased 136 hectares of private land in 2008, with support from the Australian government’s National Reserve System Programme and the Australian public.
Banner photo: Matthew Newton