Otway Ranges Environment Network



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Nomination 191: Slender Tree Fern.

The following is an extract from nomination 191, the final recommendation for listing of this threatened plant into the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.

Nomination 191

Evidence that criteria are satisfied:

Criterion 1.2 The taxon is significantly prone to future threats which are likely to result in extinction.


The main threat to the species is fire, mainly caused by the forestry practice of lighting fires to promote regeneration. These fires are often very hot and scorch fern gullies, where Cyathea cunninghamii is burnt and fails to regenerate. Individual plants may die from either the burn or from exposure after the burn. In the opinion of the scientific Advisory Committee, perhaps 70% of total population is threatened by forestry fires, and the remainder, at places such as Wilsons Promontory, are also potentially threatened by wildfire. Most of the populations do not occur in National Parks, and tend not to be managed primarily for conservation purposes. Although the species is widespread in cool temperate rainforest which is mostly protected from logging, burning and logging can occur very close to rainforest margins and fern gullies. Forestry guidelines are often breached on rainforest margins.


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