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Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Maintaining vigilance with campfires

03/11/2017

Parks and Wildlife Service staff have thanked the many campers who have heeded the restrictions placed on campfires and pot fires, but ask that park and reserve visitors continue to take care while the fire risk remains high in certain areas of the State.More

Forty spotted pardalote

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Forty-Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus)

Current status: The forty-spotted pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) is one of 18 birds listed as endangered under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. It is also listed as endangered under the Federal Act.

Why is it endangered? This tiny bird is endemic to Tasmania - that means it is only found here. In fact it is now restricted to only 7 locations, all in Eastern Tasmania. These are: Maria Island, Tinderbox, Kingston, Bruny Island, Coningham and two locations on Flinders Island. They used to be found at Lime Bay but have not been recorded there for ten years. The largest colonies are at Bruny Island and Maria Island.

The biggest threats to these birds are loss of habitat and competition from aggressive bird species. Land clearance has caused them to lose much of their favoured white gum forest habitat. This has caused fragmentation of the bird's populations.

Why are white gums important to their survival? Forty-spotted pardalotes rely on white gum trees (Eucalyptus viminalis) for their survival. They feed on the insects, lerps (a protective insect coating) and manna (a sugary substance secreted by white gums in response to insect attack). White gums occur along Tasmania's east coast in dry eucalypt forests. The birds also need old white gum trees with hollows for nesting in. So it is very important to keep white gums on east coast properties to provide food and nest sites for these endangered birds.

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What is being done? In 1991 a recovery plan was funded for this species. This aimed to protect the bird's habitat on Bruny Island by securing land and educating the general community about the plight of this species. As a result land was donated which contains the major colony of birds at Dennes Hill and this is now protected as a Nature Reserve. A number of community groups and landowners have become involved in promoting and protecting this bird's habitat and several thousand white gum trees have been replanted on Bruny Island and other areas. It is estimated that there are around 3000-4500 breeding birds. Some 66% of the bird's habitat is protected.

Recommended further reading:

  • Bryant S. 1992. Long term Survival of the 40-spotted Pardalote On Bruny Island. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania. VIDEO available. 

Available from Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

  • Forty-spotted pardalote video
  • Endangered species notesheet: Forty-spotted pardalote.