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Mt Strzelecki walk back on track


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New car park for Ben Lomond National Park


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Planned burn success on Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area sites


The Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area experienced significant wildfire events between January and March this year, yet there are still areas that require pro-active fire management for the protection and conservation of the area's values.More

Pencil pine moth

Current status

[Photo of pencil pine moth by P. McQuillan.]

This moth (Dirce aesidora) is no longer listed. It was listed as vulnerable under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 until the 2000 review.

Where is it found?

It was first collected by an entomologist, Robin Tillyard, at Cradle Mountain in 1917. The moth lives in conifer rainforests at high altitudes (these are called montane rainforests). The only sites from which it has been recorded are above 960m. These include: Cradle Mountain, Mt Doris, Lake Ada and parts of Mt Field National Park.

Why was it a threatened species?

The pencil pine moth was listed as threatened because it had a limited distribution. This is because it has a fairly restricted habitat of montane rainforests. One of the plants it most relies on in this habitat are the pencil pines. The caterpillars feed on these. However pencil pines are disappearing due to plant diseases and also wild fires, from which they are unable to regenerate. Loss of these plants will mean loss of their dependant species including this moth.

What is being done?

Protection of its habitat. Fortunately the moth's habitat, montane rainforest, is protected in secure reserves such as at Mt Field. The World Heritage Area montane rainforests at Lake Ada and Mt Doris are further protected by such policies as the use of only fuel stoves in these areas. No open fires are allowed, so all cooking by visitors within these World Heritage Areas is done on fuel stoves (such as Trangias). This reduces the risk of wild fires escaping from campfires. Prior to this policy most of the wildfires occurring in our national parks were from escaped camp fires.

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