Bruny Island Local Guide App now available!

The Bruny Island Local Guide provides comprehensive map-based information to visitors touring or staying on Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia. There are also special features for locals. Currently, it is only available for Android-based smartphones.

Interactive maps show the locations of the main attractions, restaurants, historical sites and walking tracks. Photos and text explain the history and significance of all the main sites. Practical information about roads, toilets, petrol, weather and the ferry is also included together with emergency advice.

Whether you’re on the island for a day or a month this easy-to-use app will help you get the most from your Bruny Island visit.

Wildlife Conservation Field Day, April 2019

Over 50 Bruny Islanders participated in a Field Day at Apollo Bay to learn about how to protect and create wildlife habitat and monitor for feral cats and native wildlife. People got involved in the conversations and shared their own hard earned knowledge generously, helping to make the event a collaborative success.

Kingborough Council developed a summary from the day – download it here.

Other resources featured are the diagram below showing the different bird species foraging at different levels and the Tree Hollows booklet.  

To maintain healthy bird populations both in the home garden and the bush it is important to have structurally diverse vegetation with tall trees, smaller trees, understorey shrubs and grasses, herbs and litter.  These provide a variety of birds with foraging opportunities and places to nest, shelter and roost.

Adapted by Sarah Lloyd from Williams and Woinarski (1977). From Olsen, P., Weston, M., Tzaros, C., Silcocks, A. (2005) The State of Australia’s Birds 2005: Woodlands and Birds. Supplement to Wingspan, vol 15, no.4, December 2005

A: seed eaters e.g. Beautiful Firetail, Black Currawong

B: nectar feeders e.g. Eastern Spinebill, Crescent Honeyeater

C: hawkers e.g. Dusky Woodswallow, Welcome Swallow

D: small foliage gleaners e.g. pardalotes, Black-headed Honeyeater

E: large foliage gleaners e.g. Golden Whistler, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

F: gleaners of prey from trunks and branches e.g. Grey Shrike-thrush, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, Strong-billed Honeyeater

G: flitter e.g. Superb Fairy-wren, Grey Fantail

H: pouncer e.g. Flame, Dusky, Scarlet and Pink Robins

I: Bird of prey e.g. Brown Falcon, Brown Goshawk

J: ground forager e.g. Bassian Thrush, Tasmanian Scrubwren

CONSORT Battery Trial Report

Set on Bruny Island as a neat microcosm of Australia, and with a single electricity cable supplying the research area, the CONSORT Battery Trial researched how ‘prosumers’ could contribute to a smarter future by sharing household scale solar electricity generation and battery storage with the entire network.

‘Prosumers’ both produce electricity, and consume it. Trial participants were subsidized to install rooftop solar panels paired with batteries and controllers, whilst connecting to both the grid and to the internet.

Funded by ARENA, done by three universities, the local electricity network and a company specializing in network aware solar/battery controllers, the trial looked at:

  • how can and why do people chose to participate in distributed solutions to electricity supply?
  • how can this participation be best coordinated (refining and testing algorithms to reduce peak load on electricity networks )?
  • how can prosumers be best paid for distributed solutions?

The final report for the trial illuminated these questions, finding that not all people wanted to be part of a wider societal energy solution and further, that using price signals to change behavior was not universally successful.

Probably the biggest successes for the trial was in testing algorithms to orchestrate how the PV/battery combos worked together to help manage the network’s peak loads. The trail-installed PV/battery systems totalled 128kW (PV) and 333 kWh (in batteries).

On Bruny, the single cable supplying most of the island is old and tired, especially when high loads heat it up, such as short holidays when many people flock to Bruny for a quick break.

To deal with these big loads, TasNetworks runs a diesel generator, producing greenhouse gas emissions in Tasmania’s otherwise largely renewable system.

Results show an overall 33% reduction in diesel use and a lack of need for the generator on 24 days when it would normally have been used – a fantastic feat given the rather small percentage of installed system versus overall demand!

Algorithms developed within universities were trialed and adapted using real-time conditions. These work on both predicting demand and in recompensing prosumers for their participation.

Read the full detailed report here (32 pages) and find out about industry awards here.

Cat management project update July 2019

Great progress continues with the cat management project, with cat numbers declining, new management approaches being trialed, Bruny Farming taking a major role, and support from the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth Government continuing.

The report attached details cat occupancy and feeding habitats:

  • success in removing both feral and stray cats (122 cats all up!)
  • but evidence of rapid re-colonisation following removal
  • few cats north of Great Bay
  • many cats at the Neck and Whalebone shearwater and little penguin colonies
  • greatly increased activity at colonies during breeding season
  • widespread although low density of cats in the wetter forests of Southern Bruny
  • differences in the success of baits across the different habitats
  • limited success in removing ‘trap-shy’ cats
Distribution of 3.1kg female cat in and out of bird breeding season, Cape Queen Elizabeth

Communtiy engagement, particularly with current cat owners has been high, with Bruny Farming taking a lead role in this, and other activities. This enables a cooperative and harmonious approach, which in turn leads to success in reducing the impact of cats on Bruny’s wildlife.

Read the full report here..

Citation: Allan, K (2019) Bruny Island Cat Management Project update Feb – July 2019. Kingborough Council

Tree Hollows – A home to suit every need

Kingborough Council has produced a new brochure, entitled “Tree Hollows – A home to suit every need”. It aims to help people understand the importance of tree hollows and how to retain, or help form this critical habitat.

Tree hollows – homes needed by 42 animal species – are now rare in the landscape because they take a long time to form, typically more than 150 years.

The brochure details how landholders can manage properties to provide better animal habitat whilst retaining safety for people. And it presents ideas that could work on their own properties.

It is based on the booklet “Tree Hollows in Tasmania – A Guide” published by Forest Practices Authority. Arborists, wildlife experts and land managers have provided input to the brochure to ensure it is practical and informative.

The brochure is available at Kingborough Council and here.

Possum in a tree hollow

BIEN Annual Report 2019

Another great year focusing on Bruny’s unique environment saw:

  • the 2018 Bird Festival fly with over 500 people, laughter, cries of delight and sightings of rare birds
  • the cat management program now implemented, based squarely on science and community participation
  • a tribute seat erected to the generosity of Ross and Jo Denne for donating the the bird-rich Dennes Hill to the world
  • a day of discovery of local and global climate change impacts
  • another day focusing on maintaining diverse wildlife habitat, restoration, nest boxes and wildlife monitoring for the Island
  • shorebird protection activities
  • progress on implementing a set of environmental accounts for Bruny,
  • extensive lobbying to ensure proposed extensions of fish farms do not adversely impact the environment, and
  • liaising and working with the new ferry operator ensure environmental concerns are addressed

Read the full details in the BIEN Annual Report 2019.

Film – 2040

Come along to the screening of this inspiring film by director Damon Gameau. See more here

Followed by a Q&A with Dr Cayne Layton, Project Researcher with the Giant Kelp Forest restoration project.

Film starts at 1:30 but come early at 12.30 for a delicious soup and roll lunch by Bruny Co-op for just $6.

Donation entry for film.

 

AGM

Annual General Meeting at 11:00am.

All positions open for election. Financial members are eligible to nominate.

 

Speaker series at the 2018 Bruny Island Bird Festival

Three solid days of talks by experts, researchers, enthusiasts and scientists gave plenty of food for thought, culminating in the provocative and irreverent talk by First Dog on the Moon (censored!).  The speaker series has become a much-loved feature of the Bird Festival and links to many of the talks are found below.

Oration on the intellect of threatened species by First Dog

Tonia Cochran – What really happens at Inala

Kaylene Allan Cat management on Bruny

Fi Hume – Spots or stripes

Shannon Troy – Orange bellied parrots

Scott Whitemore – Machine learning birdsong

Sarah Lloyd – Sex and the spring dawn chorus

Ruth Mollison – Elizabeth Gould

Matthew Fielding – Ravens

Craig Webb – Rescue to Release Workshop

Clare Hawkins – Where where wedgies

CHRIS TZAROS – Out of the Blue Bruny Bird Festival 2018

Angela Hansen – Quackipedia

Andrew Hingston – Swift Parrots and invasive species

Adan Cisterne – Masked Owl research

 

KC Environment Fund information sessions.

Come along to chat with Nicholas Alexander from Kingborough Council about the recently announced $800,000 Environment Fund.  Have your project ideas for your property ready .

Session 1. Dennes Point Hall – 11.00am

Session 2. Adventure Bay-  2pm  at Bruny Bowls Club