THE LOBSTER PONDS HAVEN
Founded and established in 2003 by Mr Don Bramich
Since Mr Bramich’s death in 2011, several attempts have been made to keep the Lobster Ponds open
2012 Mr Kevin Hyland was approached to re establish the Lobster Ponds and a team of volunteers set about to clean up the property
Fundraising – March 2012 fundraising commenced with an agreement with the Waratah Wynyard Council to hold two (2) Sausage Sizzles a month at the Foreshore Markets. 50% of the profits to go to the running of the Annual Tulip Festival and 50% to the Lobster Ponds
Registered and became affiliated with Wildcare Tasmania
2013 – In October the Lobster Ponds re opened coinciding with the local Tulip Festival
The Lobster Ponds has remained open since October 2013 operating each week, Thursday to Sunday and other days for group bookings and private functions
2019 - construction started on the enclosure to house the endangered Orange Bellied Parrot
THE GIANT FRESHWATER CRAYFISH
Giant Freshwater Crayfish (Astacopsis gouldi)
Although technically a crayfish, the endemic Giant Freshwater Crayfish is locally known as a lobster.
Giant Freshwater Crayfish are spiny and have large claws, and range in colour from blue to brown and are found only in northern Tasmania in many of the rivers, streams and reservoirs draining into Bass Strait, including the Arthur River system in the far north-west. They require non-silted areas with well-vegetated banks and large amounts of woody debris.
The Giant Freshwater Crayfish grows very slowly and reaches maturity at a very late age. The average age for sexual maturity is 9 years in males and 14 years in females. Females only breed or moult every second year (biennially). They can live for up to 60 years. They have been reported to grow up to 6.,5 kg and one metre in length from claw tip to tail, although now animals weighing 2 to 3 kg are considered large. The main food item is decaying wood and its associated microbes, although their diet varies with age and they also eat leaves and animal flesh including small fish when available.
The Giant Freshwater Crayfish is listed as vulnerable in the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. It was also the first invertebrate to have been nominated and accepted for the Federal threatened species.
The species is listed as threatened for a number of reasons. These include slow growth, long reproductive process, loss and disturbance of habitat, past recreational fishing and continued poaching.
(Parks and Wildlife Tasmania, 2011)
THE ORANGE BELLIED PARROT
The Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP; Neophema chrysogaster) is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and is also listed as a threatened species in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
With less than 70 of these rare and beautiful birds left in the wild, the OBP is one of the most threatened birds in Australia. Every year OBPs undertake an extraordinary journey migrating across the Bass Strait in Autumn, they fly to coastal mainland southeast Australia and in spring they return to Melaleuca to breed over the summer.
Historically, the breeding range of the Orange-bellied Parrot within Tasmania extended along the western and southern coast and east toward the Southport region. The current breeding range has contracted to the south-west of Tasmania, with recent breeding records restricted to within 20 km of Melaleuca, Bathurst Harbour.