Natural values and context
Long Point, on Tasmania’s east coast, is a 386 hectare wetland of international importance. Central and integral to the Moulting Lagoon complex, this stunning peninsular extends into the water and encloses quiet bays.
Long Point is an intricate habitat of low-lying salt marshes, coastal grasslands and sand dunes supporting coastal woodlands. These ecosystems and a labyrinth of pools, channels and waterholes are ecologically important as it acts as an ideal breeding and feeding ground, and a critical summer habitat for migratory water birds from all over the world. These include the critically endangered eastern curlew and the nationally vulnerable fairy tern.
The eastern curlew is the largest of the world’s wading birds. They breed in Siberia and fly to intertidal wetlands in Australia to feed during our summer. Red-necked stint, the whimbrel and bar tailed godwit make similarly remarkable journeys and can be found feeding on the wetlands of Long Point.
Managing Long Point
Management at Long Point Reserve has focused on the exclusion of neighbouring sheep and the control of the invasive weed gorse. This weed control work has been highly successful with control reducing the area of high density gorse infestations to less than 10% of its original extent. Work continues today with follow up of previously treated areas occurring on an annual basis. Other management issues identified have been the lack of natural regeneration of the white gum and black peppermint woodlands and the potential for feral cats to impact on shorebird breeding, issues that will be addressed over the coming years.
For assistance in establishing the reserve, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy extends thanks to Long Point’s previous owners, John and Jane Cotton, the many members of the public who donated funds and time, and the Australian Government’s National Reserve System Program.
Banner photograph: Matthew Newton