Wildlife Monitoring Field Day and BBQ

Neck Campground, Bruny Island, 23rd April 2017, 11am-2pm

Echidna on a sunny afternoon
Echidna on a sunny afternoon
Feral cat
Feral cat approaching the Neck bird colonies

Over the past 6 months Bruny Island landholders have been collecting valuable scientific data about native and feral species from all parts of Bruny Island.

This is an opportunity to come along and hear about what this exciting citizen science project has discovered!

The field day will involve:

  • Talks by local wildlife biologists and landholders about the findings of the project
  • An interactive discussion about the future of wildlife monitoring and conservation on Bruny Island.

And will be followed by a BBQ with vegetarian options.

All are welcome!

Please register your interest:

Daniel Sprod 0428 240 007 or daniel.sprod@gmail.com

Storm Bay fish farm expansion

Huon Aquaculture announced an intended extension of their salmon farming lease off Trumpeter Bay. This is in addition to both of the other large aquaculture players – Tassal and Petuna, seeking similar leases.

A recent meeting between Yachting Australia and Tasmanian Salmonoid Growers Association noted:

“The salmonoid industry wishes to expand and the Huon/Channel area has reached its allowable nitrogen cap while Macquarie Harbour has a similar issue that has received publicity in recent months.

“In moving to Storm Bay, the industry claim they are looking to move to deeper water in ‘offshore’ locations. “The industry saw this meeting as being part of their ‘community consultation’ however there was no discussion invited as to appropriateness of the expansion or locations suggested.

“Subsequent to the meeting the Marine Farming Branch at DPIPWE have provided the RYCT with a chart (depth in fathoms) showing both the current and proposed lease areas in Storm Bay. (DPIPWE advise that as of 17th Nov 2016 the companies are still to make formal applications so the proposed lease areas may be subject to change).”

Use of BIEN funds to support the Cat project

BIEN has partly funded communications on Bruny Island for the feral cat eradication project.  Kaylene Allen from the Kingborough Council advises us that :

A variety of cat containment stories (including some from Bruny) are currently being prepared (print with photos) for promotion/education and use via social media.

Small world documentaries has been engaged & has videoed school activities (as described) for future video clip production.

Small world documentaries are also commissioned to prepare five varied real life stories on cat containment – along the lines of our pilot “Inside with cats – story of Richard Parker” to be tested with cat owners. The filming is ready to go once we get feedback from cat owners.

A Cat Tracker project will likely be up and running by May/June with the
Bruny School to track student/family cats. Based on this work we will
develop graphics for sticker/post cards for Bruny.

Wild school session with Bruny school is on April 15th – would love BIEN input:
When: Wednesday 12th April at 1.45 – 2.45 pm (followed by afternoon tea)
Where: Bruny Island District School
Aim: learn about the Wild School program, have a bit of a chat and decide if any next steps.  (BIEN will be attending) .
Other aspects of the total project are listed below
  •  Wildlife monitoring undertaken by students & PWS on the BI District School property (Nov/Dec 2016); follow-up classroom sessions with Nick Mooney Wildlife Biologist (Feb 2017). A forum will be held in April with PWS (Interpretation Section) & community groups to explore the possibility of Bruny School becoming a ‘Wild School’.
  • The first stage of the community wildlife monitoring project is near completion with over 5000 images from 20 properties across Bruny.  A field day on 23rd April on Bruny will share findings and plan future work. This project is a partnership with Tasmanian Land Conservancy and BIEN.
  • Bruny Island cat owner survey is being distributed (Survey Monkey / email / hard copy) as part of developing By-laws for cat. It has been promoted by word of mouth, meetings with community groups, notices in Bruny News, Council facebook & website, and distributed to 28 cat owners.
  • A mail-out to Bruny rate payers in April is hoping to reach more cat owners. Any ideas on how best to reach and engage cat owners are welcome or if you know of any PLEASE use the contact on the website.
  • Cats have been (and continuing) to be micro-chipped and desexed and where appropriate, re-homed (by Hobart Cat Centre) as a part of the community consultation on By-laws.
  • A site has been selected, preliminary assessments undertaken and a Development Application will be lodged in April for the cat holding facility at Alonnah depot.
    Monitoring of priority at-risk seabirds and shorebirds started Dec 2016 (at and adjacent to the Neck – Lutregala, Fairyland for starters).
  • Field Officer (Brett Woodruff) commenced work in March and is working with UTAS (School of Biological Sciences) to undertake monitoring of feral cats, at risk species and other predators to develop baseline data and inform future control work (focusing at and adjacent to the Neck and North Bruny).

Biosphere Reserve

As such a special place, we have been investigating whether Bruny Island and surrounding waters would benefit over the long term by being a Biosphere Reserve.

Nesting shorebirds

Over the past decade, we have each year scouted the beaches for Hooded plovers and put up temporary fences and signage to help protect nesting sites and educate people about the habitat they share with beach nesting birds, who live on the same stretch of beach, year-in, year-out.