A new buffer has been added to the Mt Field National Park, Tasmania’s oldest national park, with the establishment of the Tall Trees Reserve. The 178 hectare reserve was a gift to the TLC from the Elsie Cameron Foundation.
Tall Trees lies within eight kilometres of two other TLC reserves, Brown Mountain and Silver Peppermint, and adjoins Mt Field, near Ellendale, improving the connectivity of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
NATURAL VALUES AND CONTEXT
This reserve supports an area of old-growth giant ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forest. Some massive trees - after which the Reserve is named - tower over 70 metres tall. There are also areas of gum topped stringybark (Eucalyptus delegatensis) forest, including trees that are hundreds of years old and riddled with hollows.
The understorey is dominated by rainforest species including myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and celery top (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius). Sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum), Tasmanian laurel (Anopterus glandulosus) and Tasmanian blanketleaf (Bedfordia salicina) are also common features.
Ancient tree ferns (Dicksonia antarctica) line the Jones River which flows through the reserve, along with other ground ferns such as hard waterfern (Blechnum wattsii) and silky fanfern (Sticherus tenera) forming beautiful fern glades. The vegetation is reminiscent of Gondwanan flora, with its ancient beech myrtles and tree ferns.
The reserve provides habitat for the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi), Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), and spotted tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), as well as many other birds and mammals. The wet sclerophyll and rainforest vegetation is home to shy, rarely seen species including the pink robin (Petroica rodinogaster) and endemic scrubtit (Acanthornis magnus).
The adjacent Mount Field national park lists many species of conservation importance which are also likely to occur at Tall Trees, such as the endemic Tasmanian tree skink (Carinascincus pretiosus) and the endemic black currawong (Strepera fuliginosa).
MANAGING TALL TREES RESERVE
The reserve is scheduled for a detailed survey, with the installation of ecological monitoring and aerial checks for eagle nests.