Media Release: Tarkine BioBlitz discovers giant Myrtle in rainforests threatened by logging.

Bob Brown Foundation’s sixth annual Tarkine BioBlitz has been another roaring success. At an early count, 280 species were recorded in three days.

“Our Tarkine BioBlitz highlights the global significance of one of the last wild places on Earth, takayna / Tarkine. Citizens joined scientists to survey forests threatened by logging, the coastline with the cleanest air in the world and wild rivers to document hundreds of species and their habitats that need urgent protection,” Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“In southern takayna / Tarkine, where logging is imminent, we discovered a gigantic myrtle during a mature habitat survey in the threatened BO102C coupe. We’re naming it the ‘Champion of the Species’. We weren’t looking for massive trees and were just doing regular transects when we found a myrtle measuring 9.6m in circumference and no shorter than 42m tall,” said The Tree Project’s Steve Pearce.

In a remote rainforest area south of Rapid River, a small group of adventurers surveyed an area imminently threatened by logging.

“In an inaccessible area of takayna / Tarkine, where few people have been besides the traditional custodians, we led a trip into this majestic, and largely undocumented, wild area towards a proposed logging area - Mount Bertha. A group of self-sufficient hikers comprising of scientists, biologists, photographers, a caver, geologist, ornithology enthusiasts and flora and fauna experts ventured in for three days to explore, document, record and bear witness to this pristine, ancient wonderland. This forest on the edge of the takayna / Tarkine wilderness deserves protection,” said Erik Hayward, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Organiser.

“North of Rapid River, citizens observed devil experts trapping Tasmanian Devils to monitor their populations in takayna / Tarkine. Unfortunately we found the tumour disease in four out of six devils surveyed. Forests provide vital habitat for many endangered species in the Tarkine including the Tasmanian Devil. Devils travel throughout a wide range of landscapes in search of food, and sleep during the day in dens often in native forests. I would like to see all native forests formally protected in Tasmania to maintain biodiversity and to provide habitat for all species, especially endangered species,” Carnivore Conservancy Researcher Colette Harmsen said.

“Tarkine BioBlitz 2020 had over 50 surveys over three days exploring the rivers, plains, forests and coastline of takayna/Tarkine. With

Our discoveries included an endemic jewelled Moss Beetle (Notolioon gematus) living in the moss at the base of a Southern Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) in the threatened forests at Que River. The beautiful endemic jewelled Moss Beetles are uncommonly found, though they do reside in rainforests across Australia,” Molly Coburn, Tarkine BioBlitz organiser said.

“With 135 participants across five different camps including 30 scientists, 17 staff and volunteers, 83 participants, our BioBlitz is making history as the longest running Blitz in Tasmania. The records of species and invaluable engagement of citizens and scientists together in wild, ancient and threatened takayna / Tarkine are building the undeniable case for its secure protection,” Jenny Weber said.

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