Lake Pedder, Tasmania
Tabatha Badger’s work takes her to the magnificent Pedder Impoundment in Tasmania and the halls of Parliament House in Canberra. It’s for the same purpose; the restoration of the original, World Heritage Listed, Lake Pedder. It’s the same reason more than 40 Australians from as far away as Queensland travelled to Tasmania recently to join the Bioblitz, organised by Lake Pedder Restoration Inc and supported by Highways and Byways.
The Bioblitz, or citizen science project, studied and surveyed various parts of Lake Pedder including a disused 18km-walking track, the impoundment shoreline, vegetation and fauna, to develop an understanding of the environmental risks and opportunities for restoring the area.
“Before it was dammed in 1972 Lake Pedder was an Australian icon like Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. This restoration project is a great opportunity for the environment,” Tabatha said.
The volunteers, led by experts from wilderness groups and University of Tasmania environmentalists, walked and kayaked, collecting data across 12 sites, including the once popular 18km track.
“Over the two-day Bioblitz, our various groups, with different areas of expertise, collected a comprehensive data set across 12 sites, successfully finding vast evidence of the endangered Tasmanian devil, spotted and eastern quolls, threatened Tasmanian masked owl and white bellied sea eagle. They also mapped threats, predominantly Spanish heath,” Tabatha said.
“The data we collected will have an impact on future work at Pedder. The area where evidence of endangered species has been found means that area cannot be used to house machinery used for the impounding high risk dams ongoing maintenance. It must be protected habitat.”
Another Bioblitz will be held in late 2023 and comparisons can be made. One important area that will be studied in the next Bioblitz will be land adjacent to the walking track damaged by fires a month or so after the Bioblitz. It will look at what species have regenerated.
Tabatha said advocacy work often done in Canberra, will try and have the 18km track, which takes in the beautiful Coronet Ranges, upgraded and promoted to the public.
IMAGE: Main: Participants of the Lake Pedder Bioblitz on the perimeter of Lake Pedder.
Insert: Kayakers and volunteers collect data as part of the Bioblitz.