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PWS Fire Update - Friday 15 February 2019

15/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened today (Friday 15 February).More

PWS Fire Update - Thursday 14 February 2019

14/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened.More

PWS Fire Update - Monday 11 February 2019

11/02/2019

As a result of the emergency service suppression efforts and calmer weather conditions over recent days, PWS can advise the following changes to track openings and closures.More

Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service will be undertaking planned ecological burns at Melaleuca and Cox Bluff in Southwest National Park to help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.


The orange-bellied parrot breeds at Melaleuca in summer before flying north to coastal Victoria and South Australia for the winter months.


Parks and Wildlife Service state fire manager Paul Black said the burns will proceed later this week if weather conditions occur as forecast.


Orange-bellied parrots require a mosaic of eucalypt forest and rainforest as well as recently burnt (less than eight years) moorland and sedgeland plains to support breeding activity. These habitat types within 10km of Melaleuca Lagoon are essential for the species’ survival.


Breeding orange-bellied parrots forage on the seeds and flowers of low vegetation in moorland and sedgeland plains.


“Burning in close proximity to orange-bellied parrot nest boxes used for breeding will help establish a mosaic of preferential foraging habitat for the breeding population at Melaleuca,” said Mr Black.


“A representative from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment’s Orange-bellied Parrot Tasmanian Program will be onsite as an observer to ensure the burn achieves the best outcome for the orange-bellied parrot population at Melaleuca.”


Ecological burns are highly weather dependent and can occur at short notice, as conditions permit.


During burning operations, public access on the South Coast Track’s main access track to the Melaleuca airstrip may be restricted and walkers may experience some delays.


The Cox Bluff burn will result in the closure of the South Coast Track at Moth Creek and Freney Lagoon. The South Coast to New Harbour Track and the New Harbour Range Traverse will also be closed at New Harbour.


"The safety of park users is of paramount importance and remote walking tracks and campsites in the vicinity of the burns will be checked prior to the burns commencing,” said Mr Black.


Throughout the planned ecological burn and fuel reduction burn season, park visitors are advised to check the Parks and Wildlife Service planned burn page for updates on any proposed or active burns.


Walkers are also advised to complete logbooks at track heads, as these will be checked ahead of the burn operations.


Walkers on remote tracks should also be aware that aircraft overhead may be trying to ascertain walkers’ positions in the park to determine if it is safe to proceed with a burn. Walkers can assist by making themselves visible from the air but should note that not all aircraft in the area will be engaged in fire management activities.