In 2022, thanks to the generosity of so many supporters, the TLC was able to protect Sloping Main Reserve on the Tasman Peninsula. We now have the chance to protect its neighbour. This property is home to ‘Burdens Marsh’, a 116 hectare vulnerable saltmarsh wetland that is a sanctuary for birdlife.
Donate to protect Sloping Main extension
The 425 hectares of Sloping Main Reserve runs along the hilltops; it is almost entirely covered in a rich mosaic of native vegetation, including seven threatened vegetation communities. Protecting Sloping Main Extension will expand the reserve by 235 hectares south and west, down to 2 kilometres of breathtaking coastline.
Protecting a vulnerable saltmarsh on the Tasman Peninsula
Importantly, half of this property is a large, nationally vulnerable saltmarsh. This saltmarsh has very high conservation values, both because of the vegetation it supports and because it is habitat for many wetland species including migratory shorebirds, frogs, reptiles and invertebrates. On drier ground are several areas of critically endangered black gum forest, and an extensive coastal dune system that supports healthy threatened white gum coastal forest.
Expanded, Sloping Main Reserve will be 660 hectares. Together with neighbouring Lime Bay State Reserve and Coal Mines Historic Site, it will be part of 2,220 hectares of contiguous conservation reserve on the Tasman Peninsula. This is an area where Tasmanian devils, small marsupials, and sea eagles, wedge-tailed eagles and masked owls are all found.
Caring for the extension to Sloping Main Reserve
The property is virtually free of weeds, with the exception of a small area of radiata pine. Around 100 hectares of the property had been previously cleared for agriculture, but our on-ground assessment found that these areas are regenerating with native species.
Large intact buffers of vegetation gently slope towards the current Sloping Main Reserve, a very rare attribute of saltmarsh in Tasmania, which is normally a very narrow vegetation community with a steep slope. The gently sloping buffer will allow the vegetation to move upslope as sea level rises. Whenever we establish a reserve, we plan for its future under climate change.
A series of drains have been cut through Burdens Marsh and a weir installed at the mouth. These were historically used to regulate hydrological flows in and out of the saltmarsh. In recent years, we have been undertaking hydrological restoration with Nature Glenelg Trust at Long Point Reserve, and we may be able to apply what we have learned there in the management of Sloping Main Extension.