Capricorn Caves fern

Capricorn Caves Fern

Tectaria devexa

What do the Capricorn Caves near Rockhampton have in common with Sri Lanka and Vanuatu? They are all sites where Tectaria devexa is found. But while it is widely distributed in Sri Lanka and Vanuatu, the Caves district in CQ is the only place in Australia where the fern is found. The fern is listed as endangered under the Australian Government’s EPBC Act.

The fern survives in thin pockets of soil in the walls and floors of limestone caves, sometimes deep within the cave where light penetrates only occasionally. A recovery project was successful in introducing a number of nursery-grown plants back into the wild to help boost the plant, but ongoing monitoring is required.

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