The City of Hobart’s bushland reserves protect many native plants and animals, including many threatened species and vegetation communities that are listed at both state and federal levels.
Some of Australia’s most vulnerable native animals find sanctuary in Hobart’s bushland reserves, including eastern quolls, the masked owl, swift parrot, eastern barred bandicoots and the grey goshawk.
Ensuring our reserves remain ecologically healthy and robust is critical to protecting these vulnerable species.
Within the City are 28 vegetation communities, including Lowland Native Grasslands of Tasmania, which are listed as critically endangered.
- Four vegetation communities are considered to be threatened and listed on Schedule 3A of Tasmania’s Nature Conservation Act 2002.
- Ten flora species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 are known to occur within Hobart’s bushland reserves. They are also listed on Tasmania’s Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.
- Eleven fauna species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 are known to occur in our bushlands, and of these, nine are also listed on the state Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.
Of these threatened species, five are endemic to Hobart – the ammonite snail, an orchid called forest fingers, Knocklofty leek-orchid, Mt Wellington eyebright and the silky snail.
Hobart’s threatened wildlife
Hobart’s bushland reserves provide critical habitat for a range of native animals that are vulnerable to extinction.
Once widespread throughout south-eastern Australia, eastern quolls are now considered extinct on the mainland and have recently undergone rapid and severe population decline in Tasmania. Their distribution is associated with areas of low rainfall and cold winter minimum temperatures, suggesting that climatic changes may be having an impact. Direct competition with feral cats for food has been devastating to the species. The eastern quoll is listed as Endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
This species is the largest of Tasmania’s nocturnal birds. It is an amazing predator and capable of pinpointing small mammals, rats and mice in the dark, flying just inches above its prey without being detected. These owls are dependent on large, old-growth hollow-bearing trees that are irreplaceable. In an urban landscape, one of the greatest threats to the masked owl is secondary poisoning from rodent bait. Its population has been estimated to be only 500 breeding pairs in Tasmania. The masked owl (Tasmanian) is listed under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.
The nationally-listed, critically endangered swift parrot is a small, very fast bird that winters on the mainland but returns to Tasmania every summer to breed. It is dependent on blue gum and black gum dominated forest and woodland with large hollow bearing trees and can be found foraging in Knocklofty Reserve, Ridgeway and Bicenntenial parks.
Eastern barred bandicoot
One of Australia’s most endangered species, the eastern barred bandicoot is considered extinct in the wild on the mainland and has been almost entirely lost from its original range in Tasmania. The Queens Domain, Knocklofty and Waterworks reserves are particular strongholds, providing suitable grassland/grassy woodland habitat. Predation from cats and dogs is their greatest risk if they are to continue to survive in Hobart’s bushland reserves.
This large, pure white raptor nests in mature wet forest but can also be seen in more open woodland and on urban fringes. There are thought to be less than 110 breeding pairs in Tasmania, where it is listed as endangered on the state’s Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.