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Mike Bretz' happy place

Published 15 Apr 2021 by Michael Bretz (Regional Reserve Manager)

I’m always happy when there’s work to be done on the Liffey River Reserve walking track. The track passes through an amazing stretch of remnant Myrtle (Nothafagus cunninghami) forest before looping back to the Liffey River (tellerpanger).

These areas are such an amazing refuge on a hot day. The difference in temperature and humidity is incredible and makes me feel like I am back in the age of the dinosaurs.

Mike Bretz stands disguised amongst tree ferns on Liffey   River Reserve, Tasmania.

These Gondwanic remnants in Tasmania have been reduced in area due to logging and burning which continues despite all that science has revealed to us about the need to keep our forests intact.

This type of forest may not be the most biodiverse ecosystem but it is a truly amazing place to spend time in. The gnarled Myrtle trees are over 300 years old and are dripping with epiphytes and ferns. There are whole ecosystems up in their canopies.

Back down at ground level, tree fern (Dicksonia antarctica) glades create sparse understories making it easy to explore little nooks just beyond the edge of the path (AKA looking for weeds).

The trunks of these ferns provide habitat for many other fern species to hang onto and the Southern Boobook Owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae) has been known to roost under the fronds.

In this 30th year of Bush Heritage Australia, aren’t we lucky that Bob Brown chose to put a small deposit on this magical stretch of wet forest so that everyone can enjoy it?

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