Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Flora Recovery Plan: Threatened Tasmanian Forest Epacrids (Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2011) [Recovery Plan].
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi (Department of the Environment, 2014a) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].
TAS:Threatened Species Notesheet - Epacris apsleyensis (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2003e) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Epacris apsleyensis (Apsley Heath): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014cg) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Scientific name Epacris apsleyensis [15428]
Family Epacridaceae:Ericales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Crowden
Infraspecies author  
Reference Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 120: 17, fig. 1a-c (1986).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Apsley Heath is a woody shrub growing to 120 cm tall (Keith 1997). The branches are long and erect and usually arise from the base of the plant (Lawrence 1993) and flowers are white and solitary (Keith 1997).

This species is restricted to the middle reaches of the Apsley River catchment, W of Bicheno on the E coast of Tasmania (Keith 1997).

Previously only five populations were known, with 90% being mature plants. In 1996 there was a total of 50,126 individuals across those five populations. Only one population with 2205 individuals was on reserved land; the other four populations were on private or unreserved land (Keith 1997).

Of the eight known populations in 2001, two are reserved: one in Douglas Apsley NP, the other in Apsley conservation area (a new reserve). Another two of the eight populations have been found on private property. The total population estimate is 370,637 plants (P.G.Black 2001, pers. comm.).

This species grows in dry sclerophyll forest on moderately sheltered flats, lower slopes and midslopes on Jurassic dolerite at 20 to 250 m elevation (Keith 1997).

Flowering commences in January, peaks in autumn and continues sporadically until late spring. The flowers are white, solitary and mostly clustered at the ends of branches but occasionally spread down longer lengths of new season's growth. The seeds are tiny and numerous within the fruits (Keith 1997).

The known pollinators of Epacris species include a variety of large adult carrion flies from the Tabanidae, Muscidae and Calliphoridae families. Species of flies directly observed pollinating Epacris taxa include: Dasybasis spp., Halina sp., Calliphora sp. and Calliphora hilli (P.B.McQuillan, pers. comm. in Keith 1997). It seems likely that other species of large flies would also function as pollinators (Keith 1997).

Although the first seed crop is likely to be produced in the fourth fruiting season after fire, it may be six to eight years before a seedbank of sufficient size has accumulated to ensure sufficient seedling recruitment after a subsequent fire (Keith 1997).

The maximum life span of individual shrubs is probably in the order of 30 to 40 years (Keith 1997).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Vegetation and habitat loss caused by dieback Phytophthora cinnamomi Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].

Black, P.G. (2001). Personal Communication. DPIWE.

Keith, D. (1997). Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004. [Online]. Hobart: Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife. Available from:

Kirkpatrick, J. (2000). Threatened Flora -plants listed as extinct, endangered or vulnerable. [Online]. Created by Bushcare Technical Extension (Tasmania). Available from:

Lawrence, N. (1993). Epacris barbata (Melville) Flora Recovery Plan; Research Plan Phase. Hobart: Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Epacris apsleyensis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 2 Oct 2014 02:00:19 +1000.