Protect Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge
To the west of the new suburb of Denman Prospect in Molonglo Valley, is an area of woodland and dry forest known as “Bluetts Block” or “Piney Ridge”, remarkable for its rich diversity of plants and animals. The ecosystem runs through Stromlo Blocks 402 and 403, and into Denman Prospect Section 1 Block 12 (the “deferred area”.)
Ensure protection before development
Given the high biodiversity values of this special area, there must be a full assessment of the potential impacts of development on threatened species, critically endangered Box-Gum Woodlands, and the role that this area plays in landscape habitat..
Protection of old-growth trees should be prioritised as they provide important nesting and foraging habitat for birds. Any assessment must also consider urban edge effects on areas of high conservation value. These impacts are well-understood – weeds, noise, light pollution and domestic animals are all potential threats to native environments and the species that live there.
A new nature reserve for Canberra
Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge deserves Nature Reserve status and should be managed as such – instead it is under threat from encroaching urban development. All development that will impact on the area’s important natural values should be stopped.
How you can help protect Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge NOW*
*A paper version of the Assembly e-petition can be printed out here.
An area rich in biodiversity
Located to the south of the Molonglo River Reserve, the habitat at Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge is home to over 100 different species of plants, including the Black Mountain Leopard Orchid, a species found only in the ACT. The area is also likely to support many threatened and rare species, including rare marsupial populations of Dunnart and Antechinus.
The Superb Parrot has increasingly been seen at Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge and is known to nest in the surrounding area. Already listed as vulnerable, Superb Parrots are facing increasing pressure due to loss of habitat as a result of bushfires and clearing. Woodland habitats such as this are important to maintain foraging and breeding sites for the Superb Parrot, Gang-gang Cockatoo, and small woodland birds, such the Scarlet Robin, Flame Robin, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Varied Sittella, White-winged Triller, Speckled Warbler, Dusky Woodswallow, Diamond Firetail, and Double-barred Finch
Bluetts also provides critical landscape connection from the Murrumbidgee River Corridor to Kama Nature Reserve, Pinnacle Nature Reserve, and Stoney Creek Reserve. Landscape connections allow animals to move safely into different areas to breed and forage. Without connectivity across the landscape, many species cannot find food, water or shelter when they need it, leaving them vulnerable.
Take some time to see the wonderful animal and plant life found at Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge. Or even better, head out there and take a look for yourself at why this area is so special.
Remember, take nothing but photos, and leave only footprints.
Take a trip to beautiful Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge
Photos supplied by the ACT environment community.