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Border heath

Current status

[Photo of border heath by F. Duncan.]

This species is a Tasmanian endemic listed as endangered under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 and critically endangered under the Federal Act.

Why is it listed as a Threatened Species?

Border heath (Epacris limbata) has a fairly limited distribution. The type specimen was collected from the now Douglas Apsley National Park. All records of its population show that it occurs to the west and south of, and within the Douglas Apsley National Park. Most of the plants are within forestry areas. It gets its name, border heath, from the fact that it occurs on the Douglas Apsley National Park border.

It is at risk from Phytophthora cinnamoni which is a root rot fungus. Border heath is susceptible to this fungus which causes the plant to die. It is also in an area which may be susceptible to invasion by this fungus.

What is being done?

There is a fascinating story relating to border heath and its long-term protection. In 1978, long before the Douglas Apsley National Park was reserved, the Forestry Commission were interested in putting a road into this area. However when they found Phytophthora in this area, they recognised this would put rare species like border heath at risk. They knew border heath occurred there so they developed management strategies to protect the species. These included not logging or putting a road into this sensitive area.

Some of the plants are now reserved in the Douglas Apsley National Park but most still occur on Forestry land. It is important that we recognise the value of implementing management strategies to protect Threatened Species wherever they occur. This Forestry have done and continue to do for this epacrid.

View Distribution Map