Bruny Island Cat Management Project May 2018 Update

For the latest information about the various activities happening on Bruny Island in relation to feral and domestic cat management see the document here by Kaylene Allan, Cat Management Officer at Kingborough Council.


Topics covered in this update are:

  • Control of stray and feral cats
  • Management of domestic cats
    – Bruny Island Cat By-law to be introduced June 2019.
    – Bruny Island Aboriginal Community Ranger program
  • Monitoring and research
    – Surveys of Short-tailed Shearwaters, Little Penguins and Hooded Plovers
    – Investigating feral cats and other predators at the Neck
    – Tracking feral cats at the Neck Game Reserve and feral cat density and distribution on North Bruny
    – Investigating the diet of feral cats at the Neck
    – Cat management feasibility study
    – Future research.

The Bruny Island Cat Management Project is
generously supported by many partners

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruny Life Study workshop on Environment matters.

As part of the Bruny Island Livability Study being conducted at the moment you are invited to attend a special workshop for BIEN members to discuss and raise observations in relation to the environment and possible actions and solutions.

A great opportunity to have a collective input into this important issue.

There will also be Community Survey forms available to complete if desired, for those who have not yet completed their personal survey.

To RSVP or more information please contact E:bien.network@gmail.com or
Mathew Fagan
Coordinator
Bruny Island Liveability Study 2017-18
P: 0427 400106
E: admin@brunylife.com

Little Penguin adoption of under-road culverts, Bruny Island 2017/18

A success story 

As part of the Department of State Growth’s Bruny Main Road upgrade project, seven under-road culverts and associated penguin fences were installed before the 2017/18 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor breeding
season at the Neck colony. As the numbers of returning penguins increased as the breeding season progressed, so did their adoption and use of the culverts, so that by the end of the season in January 2018, very few birds were recorded with cameras along the fence line on the roadside.

Read the full report by Dr Eric Woehler, Peter Vertigan and Regi Broeren of Birdlife Tasmania here.

 

Inside with Cats

Inside with Cats is a partnership between Kingborough Council, Ten Lives Cat Centre, Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the Bruny Island Environment Network.

This series of 5 videos  introduces six Kingborough cats (along with their humans), who are embracing life on the inside. Inside with Cats is not just about containing cats inside a house, it also explores the various options these owners have used for outdoor enclosures or walking harnesses, and how they keep their cats safe, happy and healthy.

To view the videos go to this link. https://www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/2018/03/inside-with-cats/

 

Call for Moratorium on Salmon Farm expansion in Storm Bay

Three community groups on Bruny Island joined to call for a moratorium on proposed expansion of finfish farming in Storm Bay.

Friends of North Bruny Inc. (FONB),  Bruny Island Comm-

unity Association (BICA) and the Bruny Island Environment Network (BIEN) today announced they are joining forces to demand a moratorium on expansion of finfish farming in the waters surrounding
Bruny Island including Storm Bay. The moratorium objectives are included in their joint submission regarding Huon Aquaculture, Tassal and Petuna’s expansion plans in Storm Bay lodged on Wednesday 17th .

Spokesperson for the groups Mr. Gerard Castles Vice President of FONB said,“We are NOT trying to stop fish farms, but we want a truly sustainable approach to finfish farming in the Bruny bioregion.” What we are calling for is a moratorium until such time as finfish farming is considered in relation to all other uses and users of resources in the waters surrounding Bruny Island and across Storm Bay.

“Our own research has shown that what is planned around Bruny is a massive expansion and we are calling on Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, to put a moratorium on finfish farming expansion until community concerns are addressed” The  argument is not about marine farming per se.  It is about the use, development and management of all resources in the Bioregion.

See the joint submission here.

 

Design ideas for cat confinement

The article here highlights the many benefits of keeping your pet cat confined.  As  the author states

“Cats have contributed to the extinction of dozens of Australia’s native mammals and birds, and are listed as a key threat to many currently endangered animals. Due to these devastating effects, there have been calls for pet cats to be permanently confined to their owner’s property. Cat owners might be surprised to find that their smooch puss is a highly effective killer: according to research in Canberra that followed cats for 12 months, 70 per cent of cats were bringing home prey monthly, and 6 per cent of cats were bringing home prey weekly. And that’s only the prey they decided to share!”

So if you have a pet cat have a look at these great suggestions.

Purr-fect design – Sanctuary Magazine

Felix is Environmental Champion for 2017

It was with great pleasure that I presented the Shaun Bromfield Environmental Champion Award to Felix O’Meara at the Bruny Island District School Final Assembly on Dec 18th. This is an annual award donated by BIEN in memory of founding member, Shaun Bromfield.

Felix (centre) with proud parents Ross O’Meara and Emma Harley

Felix is a fine young champion who at a very young age has displayed a passion and regard for the environment. He is a keen participant in school environmental activities and has assisted in wider community events such as the annual gull count.

 

The awards states that the recipient has

  • Outstandingly displayed the value of caring
  • Excellence in the skills of awareness and observation.
  • Has researched around an environmental issue.
  • Has used these skills in a practical way to inspire others, or to achieve a better outcome for the environment.

Felix not only received  a cash prize for himself but also two books donated for the school library in honour of his great work. Well done Felix!

Marg Graham

Reflections on the last year

by Bob Graham

Earlier in the year I prepared and presented a discussion paper which proposed that we engage with the process of developing a Government sponsored Destination Action Plan (DAP) for Bruny along with BICA, BIPIG and the Friends of North Bruny. All of these groups participated actively in the process and argued strongly that the plan should focus on increasing the resilience and capacity of the local community and the Island’s environment to cope with rapidly increasing tourism numbers.

The group responsible for DAP implementation agreed on those priorities and they were included in the final plan. BIEN provided significant input to the measures needed to achieve that.

However, it soon became apparent that the DAP process was not designed to deliver concrete results (despite the sincere efforts of the DAP co-ordinator).

BICA and BIEN after attempting to get better outcomes, publicly withdrew from the process in June. This has been a disappointing outcome as it was an attempt on our part to work with Government, Council and other community groups to achieve better environmental and community outcomes through the development process. Representatives of BICA and BIEN have concluded that community involvement was being used to legitimise the process.

The DAP affair raises a fundamental question of our effectiveness and role. It is not the only matter on which we have provided input and tried to work with Government and Council, only to see those efforts largely ignored.

The unfolding story of the Neck road and walking track upgrade has similar characteristics. We made submissions and provided input which specifically argued for a broader environmental focus (beyond penguins) and the need for a joint development and on ground management program involving Parks, State Growth and Council. That was agreed to in a meeting with State Growth and Council. Now all we have is the road and car park – minimal resourcing from Parks, no management program and the potential for increased environmental degradation with ever increasing numbers of visitors.

Whilst this sounds negative and defeatist, I think it reflects the growing confidence in Government that environmental lobby or action groups can be ignored.

This is reflected in a number of ways by all levels of Government.

The State Government has introduced a planning regime that provides zero protection for most of the State’s important environmental areas, including all State owned land on Bruny. Has any one noticed that the Federal Government is about to further tighten rules on tax deductions for environmental groups? Council continues to avoid their responsibility to enforce planning conditions. This situation makes it much more difficult to define an effective role for groups such as BIEN.

However, there is no evidence that the level of interest and involvement in environmental matters has lessened, and we have large numbers of individuals and communities who do see environmental issues as critical. Bruny is still promoted widely as a place with significant environmental attributes, and there is a strong interest among visitors in those attributes.

I have given all of these things a lot of thought (usually at 3am) and have tried to observe what is happening elsewhere. I think it is pointing us in the direction of lowering our sights somewhat and trying to develop an approach built on shorter term more achievable and realistic results. We have been successful in some of these things in the past. Maybe it is time to go back and revisit an approach that highlights local issues and is built around activities to do with those issues. As we are no longer directly responsible for the Bird Festival and the fact that we have some resources we have an opportunity to pursue some different aims.