The fight against invasive weeds on eastern Victoria's remote islands

Tuesday 12 September, 2023

Parks Victoria is undertaking critical weed control works off Victoria’s far east coast to protect important breeding grounds for native shorebirds and other threatened species.

Perched in the Bass Strait, a few hundred metres off the Croajingolong National Park coastline, are Tullaberga Island and Gabo Island Lighthouse Reserve.

These two, small islands near the town of Mallacoota – recognised by BirdLife International as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) – provide a safe place and ideal habitat for shorebirds such as Little Penguins and White-faced Storm Petrels to breed and nest.

Unfortunately, invasive Mirror Bush and African Boxthorn weeds are an ongoing threat to the native vegetation these species rely on for habitat. The seeds of these invasive weeds are routinely dispersed across the islands by birds through their droppings, quickly outcompeting and overtaking the natural ecosystems they grow within.

Parks Victoria recently engaged a team of specialised contractors who removed Mirror Bush and African Boxthorn from both islands over 21 days, utilising a variety of methods including hand-pulling, spraying, and cut and paint.

This work is funded through the Victorian Government’s Protecting Biodiversity Program and will continue across the Far East Gippsland coastline and islands into 2025.

To learn more about our conservation programs, visit the Parks Victoria website.

Quotes attributable to Jennifer Coles, Parks Victoria Regional Program Coordinator:

“Weeds and pest animals are one of the greatest threats to the survival of our native plants and animals in Victoria. To conserve our special Victorian places and iconic animals, we need to take action to control and limit the spread of invasive species.”

“Our latest efforts to control invasive Mirror Bush and African Boxthorn weeds on the beautiful Tullaberga Island and Gabo Island Lighthouse Reserve have produced effective results, and we will continue to monitor and treat their spread.”

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