Media Release: New orchid species at Tarkine BioBlitz

The endangered Swift Parrot was observed in a proposed logging area in takayna / Tarkine during the first of nearly 50 wildlife and vegetation surveys to be undertaken in the Tarkine BioBlitz. 

Bob Brown Foundation’s annual event has attracted 150 experts and enthusiasts to north-western Tasmania for three days of intensive field work to document the native species which live in the region.

“On the first day of the fourth annual BioBlitz, we were thrilled to find a newly discovered orchid species, known from a single location, at a second site on the Tarkine coast. Unlike related Caladenia orchids, the yet to be named pink-flowered species grows in swampy locations,” says Craig Broadfield, a survey leader at the BioBlitz.

The Sumac forest where the threatened parrots were observed has a high concentration of old growth trees which Swift Parrots require for nesting, raising the possibility that the birds may be breeding there. Swift Parrots breed in different locations each year, mostly in eastern Tasmania. More research is required to investigate their breeding activity in north-western Tasmania.

“Finding unknown and endangered species is a highlight of the BioBlitz and really demonstrates the value of these kind of citizen science projects which encourage people to get out and explore the natural world,” said BioBlitz Science Coordinator Nick Fitzgerald. 

“Our Tarkine BioBlitz is a festival of science in nature in one of the world’s last wild places.  Attracting volunteer scientists, experts, naturalists and members of the public for a weekend of discovery, biodiversity surveys and fun.  While exploring the threatened forests, rivers and remote coastline, we record as many living things as possible over three days,” said Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber.

“The ancient forests where the Swift Parrots were observed today is the site of our blockade that has been in place for three months, as logging threatens to flatten these forests,” Jenny Weber said.

“This unique event adds to the scientific knowledge of this wild, ancient and threatened place and builds our campaign for its protection,” Jenny Weber said.

Photo of Orchid available on request – Caladenia species (West Point), formal description pending & Participants in the threatened Sumac forests by Tim Cooper.


Contact: Jenny Weber, 0427 366 929



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