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.

  • 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
  • Asparagus Fern – this weed has been declared a Weed of National Significance.

KILG will renew its focus on asparagus fern, as it has become rampant in some areas of the island, smothering native understory. Weeding days are planned and we are looking for people to volunteer, as often and for as long as they are able. Focus area to start is 1059 – 1250 Grassy Road, including the reserve near the Sea Elephant River.

  • ‘Wings on King project’  –High 10 for us all. King Island Landcare Group won the 2022 Natural Environment Sustainability Award for this project. Congratulations to the many volunteers, led by Kate Ravich! This award for ‘Best Natural Environment Management’ at the Australian Sustainable Communities, Tidy Towns Awards recognises an outstanding community’s achievements in adaptation to environmental change.2 other community groups won their categories: King Island Wave Swell Energy won the Energy Award, accepted by Paul Gleeson, CEO; and The Green Team, KIDHS, won the Young Legends Award. All this culminated in King Island winning the Overall Award for 2022 Australian Sustainable Communities, Tidy Towns Award, nominated by Heidi Weitjens and accepted by Mayor Julie Arnold in Hastings, Victoria.
  • Enhancing King Island Brown Thornbill habitat for future corridor – 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. King Island Landcare is supported by Cradle Coast Authority, through funding from the Australian Government Environment Recovery Fund. 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.
    Currently the project is in its first stage working with landholders near Pegarah State Forest.
  • 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

  • Threatened Birds Recovery Plan for King Island Scrubtit  and King Island Brown Thornbill – A Conservation Action Plan has been developed for both the King Island Scrubtit (Acanthornis magnus greenianus) and King Island Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza apical Archibaldi). A Recovery Team with members from all stakeholders including the KINRMG  was formed in 2019  under BirdLife Australia’s Preventing Extinctions Program. Meanwhile, extensive searches to ascertain the abundance and distribution of both species are underway and habitat information is being updated. More information is available at Birds of King Island website.
  • 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: kingisland@landcaretas.org.au. The 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 conducted 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.
  • KILG liaises with King Island Council, DPIPWE (especially Biosecurity and Parks and Wildlife) to promote management of weeds, feral cats, deer, and wallaby. 
  • 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.
  • KILG Strategy Plan 2010 – 2020 is under review and will be updated in 2023. The process has begun, with a workshop to scope our activities attended by KILG staff and members and Iona Flett, Cradle Coast Authority NRM. Further engagement of the community and stakeholders will include prioritisation of actions. This project will be supported by CCA NRM and is an opportunity for CCA and KILG to work together to improve natural resource management outcomes for the region.

Last Updated on 17 November 2022