Friends of Bass Strait Islands

By Karen Ziegler, President

On Wednesday evening the Friends of Bass Strait Islands, Wildcare group was honoured by receiving the National Coastcare Award in recognition of the work we have undertaken in eastern Bass Strait. This is significant recognition. It was one of ten awards given in different categories for the whole of Australia and the only one for Coastcare.

It is a testament to all the people in our group and those individuals and businesses that have supported us. It is also with gratitude for funding that has been available and in the times where it has not been, our group has been innovative and individuals generous.

This recognition hopefully will assist us to build on these achievements to continue to restore and protect our fragile coastal environment and these islands that our seabirds are so dependent upon.

As stated on the Awards website:

“Our boxthorn removal project has been going on for two decades. Previously some of these areas were dominated by boxthorn to the point it was very unpleasant to move around, but you wouldn’t know it now because the regeneration of native plants has just been marvellous. Our last trip to restore Roydon Island was significant because of the considerable increase in biodiversity. All the primary control of boxthorn has been completed and native vegetation is dominant across the 40-hectare island. The penguins nest in places we had never seen them before, cape barren geese and pacific gulls nest on the island in much greater numbers! It is really heart-warming and showed all of us how much of an impact our work has had in the area.”

Karen Ziegler, President of Friends of Bass Strait Islands.

The judges noted that “FOBSI have contributed significantly to coastal repair and protection across the Flinders Island coastline and the Furneaux outer isles by cleaning up a substantial volume of marine debris in the area, along with undertaking extensive boxthorn and mirror bush removal to restore critical seabird habitat.”


(Editor’s note: We at Wildcare Tas. are very proud of your work and offer our heartfelt congratulations!)