The Pieman River catchment contains approximately 306 hectares of Huon Pine communities (Peterson 1990), but no community information exists for the stand within the Donaldson River catchment (Askey-Doran et al 1992). The Tarkine contains the most Northern reaches of naturally occurring Huon Pine (Lagarostrobus franklinii). Some specimens have been estimated to be in excess of 10,000 years of age. The trees high resistance to rot and golden colour make it a prized timber and as such many accessible stands of Huon Pine suffer from illegal logging. Due to the rarity and high commercial value of the timber from these trees, illegal poaching poses a significant risk to these communities, which is further facilitated by increased access to the stands (Askey-Doran et al 1992). Similarly with other rainforest communities, fire kills Huon Pine, as demonstrated by the dead stands within the proposed Tarkine National Park area (Peterson 1990).

A refuge for the Devil

The Tarkine is the home to the last disease free population of the Tasmanian Devil. The Tasmanaian Devil is being pushed to extinction by the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease. This disease has been estimated to have killed 80% of the Tasmanian Devil population in the past decade. As such the habitat of the Tarkine is critical to survival of this iconic species in the wild. Threats such as mining, logging and roading place the future of the Devil at risk.

Ten new mines for the Tarkine?

There are now ten new mines proposed for the Tarkine over the next five years, and the campaign to prevent this onslaught of destruction is heating up. Nine of these mines are Pilbara style open cut mines. The first two companies to submit for permits are Venture Minerals for their three proposed tin and iron ore mines at Mt Lindsay, and Shree Minerals for their proposed Nelson Bay River iron ore mine.