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Conservation Areas

Henry Somerset Orchid Conservation Area

Railton Road, Latrobe (5 kms south of Latrobe township)

Henry Somerset Orchid Reserve was officially opened on 27th November, 1981 and is the only one in Australia, unique for the pure terrestrial study of orchids.

The Henry Somerset Orchid Reserve was named after former engineer, deputy chairman and managing director of Associated Forest Holdings, a subsidiary of APPM (now North Forest Products) and avid naturalist, Sir Henry Somerset.

This natural area is set aside to provide all Tasmanians, as well as visitors to the State, with an interest in environmental management and natural history. Known for its high diversity of native terrestrial orchids, some now listed as rare and endangered, with some not only endemic to the island state of Tasmania but to the local area.

Some 43 species have been recorded within the reserve, varying from the tall 60cm tall Hyacinth orchid Dipodium roseum, a leafless saprophyte that appears annually in early summer, to the tiny 2cm Winter Helmet orchids Corybas species.

Recent taxonomic review into the Genus Caladenia by the Centre for Plant Biodiversity, Australian National Botanical Gardens in Canberra, has resulted in the discovery of a new species, Robust Finger orchid, Petalochilus tonellii, named after the reserve founder and Hon. Warden Peter Tonelli. Peter is a member of the Australian Orchid Foundation recognised after a 30 year interest in the field of Orchidology. He is also co-author of "The Orchids of Tasmania" published by Melbourne University press.

Entrance to the 45 minute "Nature Walk" circuit is via the car park off the Railton Road. There are no public facilities or charges to visit the area.

Public interpretation walks are occasionally conducted during the prime orchid flowering months of October to December by arrangement with the Warden.

Port Sorell Conservation Area

From Panatana Rivulet to Squeaking Point.

The Port Sorell Conservation Area covers approximately 70 ha of foreshore, tidal mudflats and woodland. Originally declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1945, it was expanded in 1998 after a campaign by local residents wanting to protect the area's natural and scenic assets.

Due to declining native wildlife, the Conservation Area protects some important habitats for remaining native vegetation and native animals. The area is home to a number of vulnerable, rare and endangered species.

The tidal mudflats of Panatana Rivulet are home to a variety of marine life, which helps to attract bird life. Fifty species of birds have been observed here, including Lewin's rail and the buff-banded rail, both of which are infrequently seen in Tasmania.

The woodland at Squeaking Point is home to a wide variety of native plants such as the rare lizard orchid and the endangered yellow eyebright.

Native mammals in the area include both brown and eastern barred bandicoots, several of Tasmania's native bats, Bennett's wallabies and potoroos.

The Conservation Area is managed by a committee of local residents in conjunction with the Parks and Wildlife Service, with assistance from Council.

For further information please contact:

Rubicon Coast and LandCare Group
P O Box 48
Telephone: 03 6428 6072



WildCARE (Friends of the Parks and Wildlife Service)
GPO Box 44a
Telephone: 03 6233 2185


Parks and Wildlife Service
Mersey Field Centre
Telephone: 03 6428 6277
Fax: 03 6223 8308



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