Assessing Cool Temperate Rainforest and Threatened Slender Tree-ferns

Protecting remnant rainforest from environmental risk

Significant populations of the ‘Critically Endangered’ Slender Tree-ferns have been found in protected gullies of Cool Temperate Rainforest in the Turton’s Creek area north of Foster, South Gippsland. Some of these areas are exposed to the negative impacts of adjacent timber harvesting, therefore it is vital to map these threatened communities to assist with their long-term protection.

Project description

In partnership with Biodiversity Legacy, Prom Coast Ecolink, Tarwin River Forest and local landholders, GTSAG received a generous grant from the Wettenhall Environment Trust to undertake a mapping survey of Cool Temperate Rainforest on three adjoining Trust for Nature properties at Turton’s Creek and map the distribution of the critically endangered Slender Tree-fern (Cyathea cunnunghamii).

Cool Temperate Rainforest has suffered a major decline in the Strzelecki Ranges due to clearing and few flora surveys have been carried out due to access, as many of the remaining stands are on public land under lease to private plantation companies.

A number of the critically endangered Slender Tree-ferns have been found on one of the Trust for Nature properties by the landholders which will add significantly to DEECA’s database (Victorian Biodiversity Atlas).