Devil’s in the detail
WORK has started on a Derwent Valley project which aims to restore native forest on an ex-pine plantation site to improve the management of a Tasmanian devil den.
The project, run by Boyerbased Norske Skog, involves restoring about 30ha of native forest on a site in the Florentine Valley, and has received federal funding.
It will protect a maternal Tasmanian devil den, karst landforms including extensive caves and sinkholes, and improve native forest connectivity.
The Forest Practices Authority in partnership with Norske Skog has been monitoring the den since about 2011, and the restoration project started last week.
Reforestation will use a combination of direct seeding and planting, and follow-up weeding and fire management will occur.
Norske Skog forest certification co-ordinator Michael Schofield said the 30ha of the project connects with existing remnant native vegetation.
“There’s plenty of maternal devil dens in Tasmania, but there’s very few that are actually known,
they’re quite a cryptic animal,” Mr Schofield said.
“To have a history of five years pre-harvest, then a harvesting period, and then now we’ve got an opportunity to see what sort of management we can put on that site to ensure that the devils continue to use that site.
“A lot of people think planta- tions are a bit of a void area for flora and fauna, but there are certainly values in plantation.”
It is the only Tasmanian project that received funding under Round 3 of the Federal Government’s 20 Million Tree Program, receiving $30,000.
Federal funding runs for three years, but will continue under Norske Skog for an indefinite period.
NOW AND DEN: The Tasmanian devils' den at a Norske Skog site in the Florentine Valley.