The Tarkine is home to 56 threatened and endangered species, such as the Giant Freshwater Crayfish - the world's largest freshwater invertebrate - and the Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle, the largest eagle in Australia. At the Tarkine Wilderness Lodge our experienced guides can make sure that you have every opportunity to observe this wildlife in a low-impact encounter which does not disrupt or harm the fauna and its habitat. We also offer sensational nocturnal tours which offer a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of Tasmania's most amazing animal species.
The Tasmanian Devil
The Tasmanian Devil cannot be mistaken for any other marsupial. Its spine-chilling screeches, black colour, and reputed bad-temper, led the early European settlers to call it The Devil. Although only the size of a small dog, it can sound and look incredibly fierce. The world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, the devil has a thick-set, squat build, with a relatively large, broad head and short, thick tail. The fur is mostly or wholly black, but white markings often occur on the rump and chest. Body size also varies greatly, depending on the diet and habitat. Adult males are usually larger than adult females. Large males weigh up to 12 kg, and stand about 30 cm high at the shoulder.
The Grey Goshawk
The Grey Goshawk is a medium-sized bird of prey (350-550mm). In Tasmania, the bird, despite its name, is all white - the only all-white raptor (bird of prey) in the world. On the mainland, two colour forms occur - all white and grey. The legs and feet, and the cere (just behind the bill), are yellow. At a distance, the grey goshawk can be confused with the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Females are larger than males Juveniles in their first year have olive-yellow eyes which go orange in their second year and then red when mature. Occurs singularly or in pairs in rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and woodland. Grey Goshawks feed on birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects. It pursues its prey in flight, striking with its powerful talons. They will ambush birds. Photography by Dirk Tomsa.
The Tasmanian Wedged Tailed Eagle
The magnificent subspecies of the wedge tailed-eagle, the largest and most familiar of all our raptors is unfortunately classified as endangered. With only 200 to 230 breeding pairs left in the world. Threats to the species include, trapping, shooting, traffic and powerlines, logging and wind farming. The Tasmanian subspecies is the country’s biggest with a wingspan that can reach 2.5 metres.
Giant Freshwater Crayfish
The Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish (Astacopsis gouldi) is the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world. The species is only found in Tasmania (an Australian island), and is listed as a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and over fishing. It is also severely threatened by siltation and de-snagging of streams as decaying wood forms the favourite part of its diet. It is not known if the animals are nourished by the wood, the bacteria, algae or invertebrates living in the rotting logs. They also eat leaves, fish and other meat including other freshwater invertebrate including lobsters. Individuals of over 5 kilograms (11 lb) in weight and over 80 centimetres (31 in) long have been known in the past, but now, even individuals over 2 kilograms (4.4 lb) are rare. The species is only found in Tasmanian rivers flowing north into the Bass Strait (with the exception of the Tamar) below 400 m above sea level, and is listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List.
Blue Winged Parrot
The Blue-winged Parrot is similar to the Orange-bellied Parrot. It is generally the same size (210-230mm) and shape, but the green of the upper parts are more olive than bright green. The blue patch on the wing is very much larger and covers almost half the width of the wing. A yellow facial patch extends back to the eye and a narrow, dark blue band runs from eye to eye across the forehead. The female is slightly duller than the male. Habitat It occurs in grassy woodland, heathland and grassy paddocks. Diet The Blue-winged Parrot feeds in pairs or small groups on the ground among grasses. Breeding Blue-winged Parrots make their nests in a tree hollow or stump. Four to six eggs are laid. The female alone incubates the eggs, leaving the nest at intervals to be fed by the male. Both parents feed the nestlings. Blue-winged Parrots move to and from Tasmania after breeding each year, leaving in March to April and returning in August to October. Some birds over-winter in Tasmania or on the Bass Strait islands.