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New picnic facilities for Penny's Lagoon

08/08/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction of a new picnic shelter at Penny's Lagoon within the Lavinia State Reserve on King Island.
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Celebrating World Ranger Day

31/07/2018

The work of Tasmania's rangers is vital in the daily management of our 19 national parks and more than 800 reserves, encompassing approximately 50 per cent of the State.
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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.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.