Fieldwork Showcase: truwana (Cape Barren Island) (lutruwita/Tasmania)

11th December 2022

Professor Simon Haberle, Maddie Bessell-Koprek and Feli Hopf, along with Dave McWethy from Montana State University just completed another amazing phase of fieldwork on the Aboriginal land of truwana (Cape Barren Island) in Bass Strait, (lutruwita/Tasmania), using sediment cores to help understand how fire, vegetation and water quality have changed on the Bass Strait islands through time.

Here’s a special visual glimpse into their experience onsite!

The team went back to truwana (Cape Barren Is.) to continue working together with the truwana rangers, the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.


The dunes surrounding the lagoon support significant ecological communities such as the Oyster Bay Pine (Callitris rhomboidea) forest.

Dense stands of young Oyster Bay Pine appear to be replacing the dead Eucalyptus canopy trees, possibly in response to past fire.


What a privilege to be on truwana - Aboriginal land in Bass Strait, lutruwita/Tasmania. Incredible day walking and working on country with truwana rangers surveying potential palaeoecological sites and collecting a sediment core from a coastal wetland - “Phil’s Lagoon”


Another great day coring three distinct wetlands located within the coastal heath, scrub and buttongrass moorlands of truwana/Cape Barren Island - each with different aquatic vegetation...the team is using palaeoecology to better understand the evolution of these wetland systems.


Mud-water-interface cores sampled at 0.5cm intervals from several wetlands across truwana/Cape Barren Island can provide insights into recent climate change, fire regime dynamics and the environmental impact of small-scale tin mining over the last 200+ years.


Metres of sediment cores, 100s of mud-water-interface samples from 7 wetlands across truwana reflecting thousands of years of cultural landscape history. Only possible with the support, guidance and deep knowledge on country of the truwana rangers - thanks June, Phil and Buck.


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