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Meet The Wildlife

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 Swift Parrot

The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It's also classified as a threatened species in New South Wales, Tasmania, and Victoria.

With fewer than 2,000 individuals estimated to remain in the wild, the Swift Parrot is among Australia’s most imperilled birds. These vibrant parrots undertake a remarkable migration each year, flying from their breeding grounds in Tasmania to the Australian mainland during the winter months, where they rely on the flowering eucalypt forests of southeastern Australia.

In the past, the breeding range of the Swift Parrot covered much of Tasmania’s eastern forests, particularly on the southeast and northeast coasts. Today, the species primarily breeds in fragmented patches of forest in the southeast of Tasmania, heavily relying on blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and black gum (Eucalyptus ovata) trees for both nesting and foraging.

The Orange-bellied Parrot

The Orange-bellied Parrot (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 Orange-bellied Parrot is one of the most threatened birds in Australia. Every year Orange-bellied Parrots 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.

Coming soon to the Lobster Ponds Haven

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