Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica (Tasmanian Bertya) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014dg) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (29/04/2014).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (131) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014a) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Threatened Species Listing Statement - Tasmanian Bertya, Bertya tasmanica subsp. Tasmanica (Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2008) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica (Tasmanian Bertya): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014by) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Scientific name Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica [78359]
Family Euphorbiaceae:Euphorbiales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (Sond. & F.Muel.) Mull.Arg.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Halford, D.A. & Henderson, R.J.F. (2002) Studies in Euphorbiaceae A.L.Juss. sens. lat. 3. A revision of Bertya Planch. (Ricinocarpeae Mull.Arg., Bertyinae Mull.Arg.). Austrobaileya 6(2): 237-238, Map 31 N [autonym]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica

Common name: Tasmanian Bertya

Previous name: Bertya rosmarinifolia

The Tasmanian Bertya is conventionally accepted as a species. The genus Bertya is endemic to Australia, and its sole Tasmanian representative was previously considered to be Bertya rosmarinifolia (Buchanan 1999; Curtis 1967). A revision of the genus Bertya in Australia resulted in attributing all Bertya material in Tasmania to the endemic Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica (Halford & Henderson 2002).

The Tasmanian Bertya is a woody shrub that grows to between 2 and 3 metres high. It produces small golden, bell-shaped flowers from spring through to summer (DPIWE 2004).

The Tasmanian Bertya is endemic to Tasmania. It is known to survive at six sites in north-east Tasmania (DPIWE 2004):

  • Apsley River, the old bridge site on Coles Bay Road;
  • Swanwick, north of Hepburn Point in the Coles Bay area, 20 km from the Apsley River population;
  • Macquarie River;
  • Brookstead;
  • St Pauls River at Lochaber; and
  • South Esk River near Hanleth.

The Tasmanian Bertya's extent of occurrence is approximately 188 km2 (TSS 2006).

The Tasmanian Bertya's area of occupancy is less than one hectare (0.01 km2) (TSS 2006).

The Tasmanian Bertya has a restricted and fragmented distribution (TSU 2004; Zacharek 2000).

The total estimated number of mature Tasmanian Bertya plants is approximately 1500. Population estimates for each location are (TSS 2006):

  • Apsley River, 1150 to 1250 mature plants
  • Swanwick, 200 to 250 mature plants
  • Macquarie River, 20 to 30 mature plants
  • Brookstead, 5 mature plants
  • St Pauls River (Lochaber), 1 mature plant
  • South Esk River (Hanleth), 1 mature plant

There has been an historical decline in the number of Tasmanian Bertya populations since the 1840s. The number of populations has declined from ten populations, known in the 1840s, to the six populations presently known. However, it is not possible to determine the magnitude of this decline, as the number of plants that were lost is not known. Furthermore, it is possible that two of the currently known populations, St Pauls River (Lochaber) and South Esk River (Hanleth) have disappeared, as they both consisted of only one mature plant when they were last seen in the mid to late 1990s. The total Tasmanian Bertya population is likely to continue to decline as all known populations are exposed to current threats (TSS 2006).

The Tasmanian Bertya is reserved in the Douglas-Apsley National Park and in the Bush Heritage Fund Private Reserve for Callitris oblonga at the Apsley River old bridge site (TPLUC 1996 in DPIWE 2004). The majority of the Hepburn Point population occurs within the Coles Bay Conservation Area (DPIWE 2004).

The Tasmanian Bertya is reserved in the Douglas-Apsley National Park and in the Bush Heritage Fund Private Reserve for Callitris oblonga at the Apsley River old bridge site (TPLUC 1996 in DPIWE 2004). The majority of the Hepburn Point population occurs within the Coles Bay Conservation Area (DPIWE 2004).

The Tasmanian Bertya occurs predominately in the understorey of wet sclerophyll forest along rivers and streams in the north and east of Tasmania, including the St Pauls and Apsley Rivers (TPLUC 1996 in DPIWE 2004). At Hepburn Point, this species occurs in a near coastal location and plants are growing in low She-oak forest and wind pruned coastal heath/scrub (Schahinger 2004 in DPIWE 2004).

The Tasmanian Bertya is currently threatened by land clearance and habitat fragmentation, residential development, competition from weeds, inappropriate fire regimes and agricultural activities (TSS 2006). The major threat to this species is invasion by the exotic plant, Gorse (Kirkpatrick & Gilfedder 1999 in DPIWE). The population at Hepburn Point in particular may be threatened by vegetation clearing and development, as part of the population occurs on private land, and the rest of the population is close to residential housing (DPIWE 2004).

The priority recovery and threat abatement actions required for this species are (TSS 2006):

  • protect existing populations from weed invasion through appropriate weed management strategies, including prioritising weeds of greatest threat (eg. Gorse) and methods of control;
  • investigate and develop a suitable fire management regime;
  • undertake regular monitoring and further research to collate data on recruitment and to understand threats;
  • restrict activities that may have a direct impact on the species (eg. clearing, spraying with chemicals, invasion of weeds, inappropriate grazing); and
  • develop or maintain agreements with private land owners.

The Tasmanian Bertya can tolerate fire, some disturbance and has the ability to colonise adjacent areas of bare ground (Kirkpatrick & Gilfedder 1999 in DPIWE 2004).

There is currently no recovery plan for this species. However, a regional multi-species recovery plan for threatened species in the greater Freycinet region is in preparation (DEH 2006).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ulex europaeus (Gorse, Furze) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Residential and Commercial Development:Residential and Commercial Development:Habitat modification (clearance and degradation) due to urban development Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tasmanian Bertya (Bertya tasmanica) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005p) [Listing Advice].

Buchanan, A.M. (1999). A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania & Index to 'The Student's Flora of Tasmania'. Hobart, Tasmania: Tasmanian Herbarium Occasional Publication.

Curtis, W.M. (1967). The Students Flora of Tasmania. Part 3. Government Printer, Hobart.

Halford, D.A. & R.J.F.Henderson (2002). Studies in Euphorbiaceae A.L.Juss. sens. lat. 3. A revision of Bertya Planch. (Ricinocarpeae Müll.Arg., Bertyinae Müll.Arg.). Austrobaileya. 6(2):187-245.

Kirkpatrick, J.B. & L. Gilfedder (1999). Tasmanian Bushcare Toolkit. Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

Schahinger, R. (2004b). Status of Bertya tasmanica near Hepburn Point (Coles Bay). Unpublished report to the Threatened Species Unit, Department of Primary Industries, Water & Environment.

Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE) (2008). Threatened Species Listing Statement - Tasmanian Bertya, Bertya tasmanica subsp. Tasmanica. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/SROS-6VHUY4/$FILE/Bertya%20tasmanica%20subsp.%20tasmanica%20LS.pdf.

Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIWE) (2004). Threatened Flora of Tasmania. [Online]. Available from: http://www.gisparks.tas.gov.au/ThreatenedFloraCD/Bertya%20tasmanica%20ssp.%20tasmanica.pdf.

Tasmanian Public Land Use Commission (TPLUC) (1996). Environment & Heritage Report. Volume IV: Background Report Part C Tasmanian Commonwealth Regional Forest Agreement, Hobart.

Threatened Species Section (TSS) (2006e). Draft Greater Freycinet Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan 2006-2010. Hobart, Tasmania: Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.

Threatened Species Unit (TSU) (2004). Draft listing statement Tasmanian Bertya, Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica. Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Bertya tasmanica subsp. tasmanica in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:26:40 +1000.