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 Tasmanian lowland Euphrasia species Flora Recovery Plan (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2011g) [Recovery 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:Threatened Species Notesheet - Euphrasia semipicta (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2003g) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Euphrasia semipicta (Peninsula Eyebright): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014ct) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Scientific name Euphrasia semipicta [9986]
Family Scrophulariaceae:Scrophulariales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author W.R.Barker
Infraspecies author  
Reference Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 5: 139, fig. 46 (29 Sep. 1982).
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 Peninsula Eyebright is a short-lived perennial herb, usually less than 35 cm high. Three types are recognised: Type 1 is generally larger, with a yellow green appearance and mauve, partially striated flowers, Type 3 has a reddish green appearance and white flowers that are not always striated and Type 2 tends to be intermediate with either white or mauve flowers (Threatened Species Unit 1997a).

Type 2 plants at Hurricane Heath generally grow no more than 12 cm high (Threatened Species Unit 1997a).

The four extant populations are restricted to the eastern side of Tasman Peninsula, eastern Tas. They have a linear range of 21 km and occupy less than 10 ha. The species once extended as far as Forcett near Sorell and near Stormlea in the SW part of Tasman Peninsula. The species may exist in other areas of the Tasman Peninsula, on Forestier Peninsula and beyond (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). There is one population of Type 1, two of Type 2 and one of Type 3.

Type 1 occurs on the northern edge of the Tasman Peninsula, partly within State Forest. The population is now restricted to three patches in a 2.5 km stretch behind Taranna (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). In 1995 one patch was estimated to contain 100-250 plants. Half the patch was destroyed in 1996 (Potts 1997 in Threatened Species Unit 1997a). Another patch occurs on the edges of a 4WD track through a State Forest coupe clearfelled and burnt in 1984. The third patch is along old 4WD tracks on the boundary of State Forest (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). The total number of Type 1 plants was estimated as 120-700 (Comm. of Aust. 1999d).

Type 2 occurs in at least four discrete patches (Comm. of Aust. 1999d) along a 2.2 km stretch of the Cape Hauy Peninsula, on the SE part of Tasman Peninsula. Another Type 2 population occurs at Hurricane Heath on Cape Pillar (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). The Cape Hauy Peninsula plants tend to occur along track edges. Hurricane Heath plants are concentrated in relatively bare patches created by temporary watercourses in very exposed heath (Comm. of Aust. 1999d). In 1995 approximately 350 Type 2 plants were located on Cape Hauy (Threatened Species Unit 1997a), increasing to 600 in 1996 following an unusually wet spring and summer, though the range did not increase (Potts 1997 in Threatened Species Unit 1997a). Numbers at Hurricane Heath were estimated to be 1000-2500 (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). The total number of Type 2 plants was estimated as 1630-8450 (Comm. of Aust. 1999d).

Type 3 occurs along the edges of a dirt road in a State Forest coupe on Arthurs Peak, behind Eaglehawk Neck on Tasman Peninsula (Threatened Species Unit 1997a; Comm. of Aust. 1999d). The Type was initially widespread throughout the coupe after clearfelling and burning, but ten years later was restricted to the edges of Plateau Rd running through the coupe (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). In 1995 approximately 1300 individuals, including 800 mature plants, were estimated in the Type 3 population. In 1996 numbers increased to 2000 following an unusually wet spring and summer, though the range did not increase (Potts 1997 in Threatened Species Unit 1997a). The total number of individuals was estimated at 3000-5000 individuals (Comm. of Aust. 1999d).

Continuous stands are likely to be formed after a fire event, joining the small remnant patches evident in the mid 1990s (Threatened Species Unit 1997a).

The two Type 2 populations occur in Abel Tasman Forest Reserve and Cape Pillar State Reserve. Types 1 and 3 are unreserved (Threatened Species Unit 1997a). The species has also been recorded from Point Puer-Crescent Bay State Reserve and Tasman Arch State Reserve (Briggs & Leigh 1996).

Suitable habitat for this species is heathy, sedgey or grassy open woodland areas (Threatened Species Unit 1997a), also described as moorland (Comm. of Aust. 1999d), often at forest margins.

Type 1 plants occur in open woodland with a heath and sometimes sedge understorey, especially along the edge of animal and 4WD tracks. Type 3 plants occurred throughout a coupe that was clearfelled and burnt in 1987, but ten years later were restricted to the heathy edges of a road running through the coupe. Type 2 plants occur in heath, with the Hurricane Heath population in very low, very exposed and wet heath (Threatened Species Unit 1997a).

Populations of Euphrasia species are transient. The persistence of populations is reliant upon the successful recruitment of seedlings. Patches of open ground are required for germination, and adequate moisture levels are required for seedling survival. Seed production is copious and the soil seed bank probably survives for decades (Potts 1999). Standing plants are killed by fire (Comm. of Aust. 1999d), but profuse germination follows (Potts 1999).

Euphrasia species are non-host specific semi-parasites. The growth rate and reproductive output is reduced in the absence of hosts (Potts 1999).

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
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Storms and Flooding:Storm damage Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Geological Events:Avalanches/Landslides:Habitat modification due to landslides Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].

Ball, P.S. (1994). Four threatened Euphrasia Sp. Hobart: Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife.

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Commonwealth of Australia (1999e). Tasmanian Regional Forests Agreements. [Online]. Available from:

Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens (CHABG) (1994). Census of plants in botanic gardens. [Online]. Canberra: Australian National Botanic Gardens. Available from:

Potts, W C & Barker, W R (inprep). Variation in Euphrasia semipicta (Scrophulariaceae). unpublished.

Potts, W.C. (1999). Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001. [Online]. TAS DPIWE. Available from:

Threatened Species Unit (1997a). Listing Statement No. * - Euphrasia semipicta W R Barker, Peninsula Eyebright. Dept Primary Industries, Water & Environment, Tas. Dept Primary Industries, Water & Environment, Tas.

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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). Euphrasia semipicta in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 11 Jul 2014 23:54:18 +1000.