Current Projects

King Island Landcare Group (KILG, formerly KI Natural Resource Management Group) undertakes a number of projects each year, as funds and human resources allow – see the following list.

Seed collecting days for native vegetation plantings

With the warmth of the summer months some species that we are looking to collect are fast becoming ready.  Teams have started collecting and further days are planned in February. Usually there will be 1-2 hours collecting without travel time. Bring everything you need, snacks, water, sun/leech protection.Contact Renae if you would like to join in. kilgnursery@gmail.com

Species targeted in January: Necklace Sheoak (Allocasuarina monilifera) and Banksia marginata.

King Island native plant nursery – join the volunteer team

The community run nursery supports landholders to use King Island endemic flora for native revegetation and regeneration activities. An important benefit is improving habitat and reconnect threatened bird populations. The Nursery Facilitator, Renae, will work with landholders and volunteers to ensure supply of seed for both direct seeding and propagation into seedlings ready for planting. Renae can be contacted by email. kilgnursery@gmail.com Supported by BirdLife Australia  www.birdlife.org.au

Inkweed Eradication – Phytolacca octandra L. p

We need your help! If you have seen this weed and know of its location, please contact us ASAP. Phone 6462 1825 or email: kingisland@landcaretas.org.au . This weed can rapidly become an environmental and agricultural problem so we need to act NOW! Inkweed has been found on King Island around Fraser Road, North Pegarah and Pegarah Forest. This is a NEW INCURSION on King Island, the only known location in Tasmania, was found in 2021. KINRM started an Inkweed control program to eradicate this weed from King Island with funding from Landcare Tasmania.  Click here for more information about this weed and project.

Time to tackle Asparagus fern – keep the plants from forming berries now

Check our current maps and please contact Eve 0447805286 if you know of other incursions.
The problem- Asparagus scandens, aka Asparagus fern, has completely covered large areas of our waterways, particularly Fraser River, and along Grassy Rd. It is also rampant around Grassy and Grassy River, and is increasing in density in many of our precious forest areas. It has the ability to completely smother all the medium and ground level native plants in areas it invades. Asparagus fern will invade and destroy all of our native vegetation if we allow it to continue spreading.The Birds of King Island group and visiting ecologists have grave concerns about the impact Asparagus fern is having, and will have in the future as it spreads further, on the habitat (home) of our native animals, particularly our critically endangered birds, the King Island Scrubtit and King Island Brown Thornbill, both little birds that are unique to King Island. We also have landholders who are very concerned about the impact of Asparagus fern on the essential natural areas of their properties.

King Island Landcare project – King Island Landcare is embarking on a long-term effort to control this weed once and for all. It will take many years and will rely on a whole of community effort, but the cost of doing nothing will be far greater than the cost and time to strategically control it.

We have a 1 year project running until June 2024, involving some hand removal and chemical trials, and a Management Plan to inform future activity and leverage funding.

Mapping – The most important part of the Management Plan is to update the mapping we have. Do you know of Asparagus fern outside of the areas shown on the map? Close up maps are available on King Island Landcare Facebook page, and hard copies will also be available at both Elders and the Post Office, which you can draw on if you know of Asparagus fern that we haven’t mapped yet (Please put your name next to your markings so we can follow up with you). Alternatively, we can send out hard copies of maps, or email to you upon request, or you can come into the office and show us in person, or come along to the Field Day and do it there!

Management Plan – We will then prioritise areas for control, and develop an action plan in conjunction with King Islander’s ínput.

The Plan will also contain plenty of information about how to control and what’s been achieved elsewhere, as well as references to further information, and flagging of who is responsible for the activities.

Please let us know any thoughts and input you have on management of Asparagus fern on King Island. Contact – Eve Woolmore, Landcare crew coordinator. 0447805286. Email eve41013@gmail.com

Or drop into the office at KIRDO, George St, Currie

Supported through funding from the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund, a $5 million Tasmanian Government initiative funded until 2024. The funds provided by the Tasmanian Government will be invested with landholders, land managers, and other organisations to tackle weeds that are impacting valuable agricultural and environmental assets.

Feral Deer Population Control –

King Island is classified as zone 3, so “no deer” is the broad management objective of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. In recognition of the increasing challenges landholders face managing deer, there is no limit on the number of antlerless (any female deer, male fawns and antlerless males) deer that can be taken under a hunting licence or permit. The decision to tag male deer taken using Property Protection Permits in Zone 3 is at the discretion of the land manager.

Knowing the extent of the problem is an important part of managing the feral deer population. Trail cameras are being used to estimate deer abundance and geographic distribution in areas supporting low to medium abundance of the species. King Island community can help the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania implement their Management Plan by recording sightings. Download the DeerScan app. – easy to use and uploads data to ensure we know where the deer are.

Feral Cat Population Control –

There is a renewed interest amongst the community and business to work together to control numbers of feral cats on the island.

Amendments to the Cat Management Act 2009 , effective 1 March 2022, changed the way cats are cared for and managed in Tasmania and should stop recharge to the feral cat population from domestic cats. Download this fact sheet for further information on the changes.
KILG plans to continue working on this project, with a multi-faceted approach similar to activities over many years.
Since 2006 KILG facilitated programs achievements include:

    • o Population data gathered and added to database: community sightings recorded; camera monitoring; sandpits were used to estimate the abundance and distribution of cats across the island.
      o Cat tracks were recorded in every habitat surveyed during the project including coastal environments.
      o Determined significant feral cat population has stemmed from the domestic cat population
      o Subsidized de-sexing program- over 156 domestic cats de-sexed and microchipped,
      o Over 377 feral cats were trapped across the island under these programs, further trapping has continued by community, PWS, and business
      o Dietary analysis and bait trials
      o Community awareness raised, householder and media
      o Community review 134/136 surveyed supported program
  • Subsidised Cat Desexing Program 1 February 2024

    KING ISLAND COUNCIL AND NATIONAL DESEXING NETWORK LAUNCH SUBSIDISED DESEXING PROGRAM TO PREVENT UNWANTED CATS- King Island Council (supported by a co-funding grant from the Cradle Coast Authority), the National Desexing Network and participating vet clinics have joined forces to offer residents in need a subsidised desexing program to help prevent unwanted cats. From 1 February 2024, eligible King Island Council residents can have their cat desexed and microchipped for free. The program, managed by the National Desexing Network (an initiative of the Animal Welfare League Queensland), is available to King Island Council residents with a valid pension, concession or healthcare card; low income; with too many pets; adopting a stray or taking ownership of an unowned cat. Residents who need support phone the National Desexing Network on 1300 368 992 and if eligible will be issued with a desexing voucher and then contact the participating vet to make an appointment.

    The National Desexing Network urges residents to get their cats desexed between 2 and 4 months of age as female cats can become pregnant from just 4 months old and can breed continuously after that. Male cats are less likely to fight, roam and spray when desexed.

    These subsidies are available only while Council funds last. The Council spokesperson encourages residents in need to take advantage of this proactive program. “This initiative helps the whole community as it reduces unwanted litters and helps reduce cat nuisance issues and predation on native wildlife,” they said. “Desexing not only helps to ensure fewer unwanted animals, but research shows that desexed animals can live longer and healthier lives,” they said. “King Island Vet Hospital and Bass Strait Veterinary are participating in this program for King Island Council residents and the National Desexing Network, Council and the Cradle Coast Authority thank the local veterinary clinics for helping with this community service.”

    The National Desexing Network manages year-round Cooperative Desexing Programs free of charge for a growing number of Councils around Australia and in Gold Coast City, the second largest council in Australia, ongoing desexing programs helped achieve zero euthanasia of all healthy and treatable stray and surrendered cats and dogs. For further information about the program: Tracey Francis, NDN Manager – ndnmanager@awlqld.com.au.

Eradication of Serrated Tussock

Eradication from King Island of this highly invasive weed was within our sights after many years mapping and control of an infestation next to Colliers Swamp. In addition the Landcare crew conducted fee for service work  for several adjoining landholders. Serrated tussock is a serious weed of pastures and native grasslands, a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999, and a Weed of National Significance (WONS). Unfortunately, a new incursion has been discovered so a renewed effort by KILG will go into this area, whilst surveillance of the original area continues. PLEASE keep an eye out for this weed when in the area between Colliers Swamp and Gentle Annie. Supported by the Tasmanian Government.

Building community capacity to restore native vegetation and monitor impacts of restoration effort

The aims of the project:
1) build the understanding and capacity of the King Island community to restore and expand King Island’s native vegetation,
2) establish a method to measure, record, and analyse progress and outcomes of native vegetation restoration effort
3) facilitate adaptation of future effort based on monitoring results.
In November Dr Helen Morgan, Tasmanian Land Conservancy Ecologist, visited to work with the Landcare team to finalise the King Island Native Vegetation Restoration and Monitoring Kit and introduce the methodology at a field day. The Kit has been developed for the King Island community to use in on ground management and monitoring activities to protect and enhance biodiversity values and habitat for threatened species on King Island. Download a free copy of the Restoration Kit. KILG acknowledge the support of “ANZ & Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal”.

Threatened Birds Recovery Plan for King Island Scrubtit  and King Island Brown Thornbill

Extensive searches to ascertain the abundance and distribution of both species and habitat information has been updated. Results are available in this report: Defining and mapping habitat requirements to support the survival of King Island threatened birds January 2023 prepared by Phil Bell and Matt Webb, Biodiversity Maintenance Australia.Key information on the endangered King Island birds: King Island Scrubtit and Brown Thornbill Survey Results March 2019 report prepared by Matt Webb and Dr Ross Crates

Actions from the Conservation Action Plan for both the King Island Scrubtit (Acanthornis magnus greenianus) and King Island Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza apical Archibaldi) continue. A Recovery Team with members from all stakeholders including the KILG  was formed in 2019  under BirdLife Australia’s Preventing Extinctions Program. More information is available at Birds of King Island website. Supported by BirdLife Australia,  www.birdlife.org.au

Enhancing King Island Brown Thornbill habitat for future corridor

Stage 2 2023-24 planning is under way, with sites mapped for native re-vegetation by direct seeding pasture areas and regeneration of degraded vegetation with tubestock over-planting. A major challenge is to gather sufficient local provenance seed. Stage 1 2022-23 worked with landholders near Pegarah State Forest, completed April 2023, supported by Cradle Coast Authority, through funding from the Australian Government.  It aids the recovery of the endemic and critically endangered King Island Brown Thornbill (KIBT) via protection and restoration of native vegetation through stock exclusion, improved wallaby and weed management.The King Island Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla magnirostris) is endemic to King Island, meaning it occurs nowhere else in the world. It is currently classed as a subspecies of the Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) that also occurs in other parts of Australia. However, current genetic studies may reveal that the King Island Brown Thornbill has evolved into a separate species. Previously it was discovered that A. pusilla magnirostris specimen have longer bills than their close relatives and that they have developed a distinguishing call frequency. Find further information about the King Island Brown Thornbill here.

Approved sightings of A. pusilla magnirostris have been rare within the last decades and little is known about the small birds’ life cycle. It is only assumed that they may have a similar lifestyle to their more studied relatives. In 2019 not even 50 individuals were found during bird surveys on King Island. Most of the 35 coordinates the birds were found at are in Pegarah State Forest and some are further south near Yarra Creek. Later in 2020 a survey found slightly more individuals remaining in suitable habitat on the island.
Habitat for A. pusilla magnirostris seems to be forest that predominantly includes larger Eucalypt trees. Unfortunately, this type of habitat has been decimated since the early European settlement, and only a few small suitable habitat patches remain for the critically endangered bird on the island now. It is estimated that there are no more than 250 individuals of the King Island Brown Thornbill remaining in the wild, and those remaining populations are further threatened by fire events and land clearing.
This Landcare project therefore aims to aid the remaining populations of birds by initiating a future vegetation corridor that allows genetic flow between potentially isolated populations and enhances new habitat for population recovery. The project is conducted as a milestone of the King Island Threatened Species Conservation Action Plan.
Within this project we encourage King Island Landholders to work together with King Island Landcare and Cradle Coast NRM to allow regeneration of native vegetation, especially along valuable freshwater bodies that eventually will shape a vegetation corridor between Pegarah State Forest and Yarra Creek. Exclusion of stock from vulnerable riparian edges, improved weed management and wallaby control are some of the goals to achieve by the funding. This is thought to bring a brighter future to King Island’s unique, little, insectivorous bird. And with further challenges that the world is facing we hope to create a greener, fertile, and more sustainable future for King Island.

Native seed collection and Propagation of King Island Native Trees –

The project will involve the green team, a King Island District High school student led group, with propagation of KI native trees activities at the local nursery. A continuing project is planned, where we can educate students from seed collection, propagation, and planting through  participation in King Island Landcare revegetation projects and community projects. The first stage of propegation and germination has been completed and now we wait to take the children out on the field for a day of planting. Supported by KIDHS teaching staff and with funding from King Island Council Community Assistance Program 2023-24

King Island Herbarium

27 samples of the Herbarium collection were framed to allow for public display. The Herbarium has been collected by Ken Baker, Margaret and Graeme Batey – often at Field Naturalists outings – and is a valuable collection of pressed KI plants housed by KILG. Identification of plants is confirmed with the Tasmanian Herbarium and Margaret often sends samples for the State collection. The display was present at the King Island Gallery for two weeks. Supported by KI Council Community Assistance Program 2022-23

Currie Wharf Bush Restoration Project

The area is a great example of King Island coastal bushland, including peaceful gullies and lookout spots. It was overrun by weeds and most of it was very difficult to access, but plantings and natural regeneration have turned this area into a thriving, diverse coastal habitat. An old track used many years ago by Currie Lighthouse keepers has been resurrected and again links the lighthouse and museum with the harbour. Regular field days have been held with funding from the Australian Government Communities Environment Program, CCNRM and KI Council and TasPorts.
Currie Wharf field days will now be organised by volunteers and will be held occasionally. These are popular events with volunteers planting native tree seedlings and managing weeds, and will continue as possible. The KILG on-ground work crew will contribute to this project whenever funding allows. Everyone is welcome to help with planting, weeding and other maintenance of the wharf area. Please contact us on 64621825 if you would like to contribute.

Photos from Field Day 25 July 2021:

25Jul21d

25Jul21c

Inkweed Survey and Eradication –

(Phytolacca octandra). Inkweed has been found on King Island around Fraser Road, North Pegarah and Pegarah Forest. This is a NEW INCURSION on King Island, the only known location in Tasmania. We need your help! If you have seen this weed and know of its location, please contact us ASAP. Phone 6462 1825 or email Eve.  King Island Landcare Group was funded in 2021 to start an Inkweed control program to eradicate this weed from King Island. The project is further funded by Northern Tasmanian NRM, supported through funding from the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund, a $5 million Tasmanian Government initiative funded until 2024. The funds provided by the Tasmanian Government will be invested with landholders, land managers, and other organisations to tackle weeds that are impacting valuable agricultural and environmental assets.

Protecting Boggy Creek Geoheritage Site and KI Coastal Complex

KILG are advocating for improved protection of these rare and wonderful formations. Sea spurge control to protect sensitive parts of the coastal complex around the tufa terraces will be continued whenever funding allows, or when there are volunteers willing to help with weed control.

Rehabilitation of the Lower reaches of Porky Creek.

Originally funded through Tasmanian Landcare Association grants 2011-2012 and Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, this project has had a great deal of volunteer input. The project includes: initial clearing of boxthorn and other weeds; planting native trees; seedling maintenance; on-going weed follow-up by KILG Weed Crew as funding allows and the adjoining landowner.

Invasive Species control

KILG liaises with King Island Council, DPIPWE (especially Biosecurity and Parks and Wildlife) to promote management of weeds, feral cats, deer, and wallaby. 

Landcare and sustainable agriculture

KILG promotes Landcare and sustainable agriculture to farmers and land managers on King Island. Until June 2018 KINRM employed a Regional Landcare Facilitator but this position is no longer funded. The Cradle Coast Authority NRM Sustainable Agriculture team works to protect and improve our productive landscapes by ensuring a sustainable balance between economic, environmental and social values. They frequently offer training and networking opportunities for landholders, and occasionally have funding available for special projects.

Funding our Activities

KILG are now able to accept tax deductible donations. DONATE TO KING ISLAND LANDCARE GROUP
Thanks to Landcare Tasmania for their support to use their Deductible Gift Recipient facility

The Moonbird Festival | King Island, Tasmania

April 2023 was a feast of music, art, food & wine. Founded and directed by the Bowerbird Collective, this event brought together some of Australia’s finest musicians for a series of spellbinding concerts. KILG are so thankful for the donations from so many artists and businesses for our fundraising events and to the small army of volunteers supporting the Moonbird Festival. We are hoping this festival can become an annual event and are looking for ideas from anyone interested in supporting Moonbird Festival 2024.

Last Updated on 21 February 2024