by Bob Graham
Following the success of the 2016 Bird Festival, things have been relatively quiet. The festival consumed most of our efforts and resources in the months prior to the event. In particular Daniel Sprod’s hard work and dedication in his role as festival co-ordinator underpinned that success. It demonstrated clearly that the coordinator’s position is crucial to the success of the festival. Thanks are due once again to our partners Birdlife Tasmania and Inala and the wonderful volunteers who support the staging of this event.
The 2016 festival also demonstrated that future festivals can be self sustaining. Accordingly, a joint management group consisting of Birdlife Tasmania, Inala, BIEN, Nick Mooney (Australian Raptors Association) and Sally Bryant (Tasmanian Land Conservancy) is in the process of being established. Cat Davidson has been appointed as the 2018 festival co-ordinator and planning is well advanced under the guidance of the wider group. BIEN will still continue to be closely involved but we can now give more attention to other environmental issues on Bruny.
Throughout the year BIEN has continued to be engaged with a number of activities, including;
✦ The Bruny Island cat management strategy – BIEN has been a participant in the strategy which is being managed through Kingborough Council. Kaylene Allen, the Cat Management Officer, has developed the strategy in discussion with BIEN, BICA and the Primary Industries Group. BIEN has contributed funds to support the strategy. That strategy includes a cat by-law and Kingborough Council is in the process of developing that. Bruny was also selected as one of five Islands around Australia for Federally funded cat management programs;
✦ Agreement on a tribute for Louise Crossley to be held next year;
✦ Re-design and reprinting the wildlife on Bruny brochure;
✦ Purchase of a container for equipment storage;
✦ Wildlife monitoring – two workshops facilitated by Daniel Sprod and Matt Taylor (co-sponsored with TLC) have been held and a number of individuals have monitored wildlife on their properties using equipment supplied through the program;
✦ Shorebirds – signage and fencing to increase awareness and provide some protection of nesting sites has been put up on beaches primarily in Adventure Bay. Several pairs of hooded plovers nested successfully on the main beach and Two Tree Point Beach. Pied Oystercatchers also successfully raised chicks. Of note has been the dramatic increase in the population of Crested Terns which appear to have partially usurped silver and Pacific Gulls;
✦ Web Site – the BIEN web site is now working;
✦ Continued monitoring on the possibility of logging recommencing on Bruny – nothing new to report, but the Island’s production forests have been removed from the interim reserve list
✦ Submissions to PWS and State Growth on the Neck redevelopment;
✦ Participation in workshops on the Destination Action Plan, Plan and the “Trove” concept;
✦ Developing the idea of environmental accounting – including talk by Peter Cosier;
✦ Weed removal at Grass Point; and
✦ Liaison with Bruny Island School.
The year has largely been one of continuing work begun in previous years. I want to thank the Committee and members for their support and work throughout the past 12 months.