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Tasmanian Land Conservancy | Photo James Hattam

Campaign Kicks off for Southern Nature Sanctuary on Tasman Peninsula

The Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) announces the campaign to protect Sloping Main, a spectacular piece of land on the Tasman Peninsula.

Perched between beachfront communities and tucked just off the tourist trail, Sloping Main is a southern sanctuary for intact and highly diverse plant life. This 425 hectare property on the western Tasman Peninsula supports seven threatened native vegetation communities, more than on any of the other 24 TLC reserves.

Among the property’s many and varied communities, Sloping Main is home to black gum (Eucalyptus ovata) forest and woodland in excellent ecological condition. This vegetation community is critically endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Elsewhere, this type of woodland is usually weed-infested, highly modified and in small patches of less than two hectares. At Sloping Main, 27 hectares of the community is officially recorded; in one initial visit more than 40 hectares has been found. Once this property is a reserve the TLC will manage this precious and critically endangered ecosystem to help it thrive.

The diversity of vegetation supports mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates including up to 19 threatened species. The Tasman Peninsula is home to one of the last remaining populations of Tasmanian devils free of devil facial tumour disease. Spotted-tail quolls thrive here too and the area could be a stronghold for this species now declining on the mainland. There is also potential for the property to provide a refuge for one of Tasmania’s most cryptic and least understood mammal species – the Tasman Peninsula dusky antechinus (Antechinus vandycki). Making the property a reserve will ensure antechinus and other elusive mammals can be monitored and managed.

‘Intact ecosystems like the one at Sloping Main give us the opportunity to protect the full spectrum of Tasmania’s marsupial carnivore community, from the Tasmanian devil at the top end right down to the little antechinuses.’

Dr David Hamilton, Conservation Ecologist Tasmanian Land Conservancy
Tasmanian Land Conservancy | Photo Andy Townsend
Photo: Andy Townsend

The TLC has the chance to establish a reserve in this very special landscape and to provide a connection between Lime Bay State Reserve to the property’s north, Coal Mines Historic Site to the east and private nature reserves to the south. Land for Wildlife properties are scattered across the area, and some of the most spectacular conservation properties the TLC has sold through its revolving fund are found nearby at Mount Communication. If successful, this reserve will join the peninsula’s public and private reserves and make a significant contribution to the conservation of the Tasman Peninsula’s landscape.

The TLC is raising funds to protect this property in perpetuity – donations will support the purchase as well as the initial and long-term conservation management and ecological monitoring of Sloping Main. This campaign is possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Elsie Cameron Foundation which is matching all donations. The TLC looks forward to working with the local community and broader supporter base to make this property a reserve for nature forever.

For more information on the property, visit Protect Sloping Main

Tasmanian Land Conservancy | Photo Eddie Safarik
Photo: Eddie Safarik

‘Sloping Main contains one of the best examples of remnant coastal forest in south-east Tasmania. Seven of the vegetation communities on the property are listed as threatened in Tasmania, which is exceptional. Large patches of black gum forest in good condition are extremely rare in Tasmania, especially in the south-east of the state. The property also includes good areas of black peppermint (Eucalyptus amygdalina) forest on sandstone, a threatened vegetation community not found in any of TLC’s other reserves, making it a very high priority for protection.’

Joe Quarmby, Conservation Ecologist Tasmanian Land Conservancy

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Acknowledgement of Country

Wherever and whenever we walk, we acknowledge and pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians and Owners of the land.