Friends of Bass Strait Islands

Wildcare group Friends of Bass Strait Islands (FoBSI) will be running 2 working bees in 2016 to continue our boxthorn control effort in the Furneaux Islands.

The first will run from May 23rd – June 5th. The focus will be on completion of boxthorn removal from the entire Wybalenna site on the western coast of Flinders and from the adjacent muttonbird rookery at Settlement Point. Two recent FoBSI working bees at Wybalenna (in 2014 & 2015) have completed most of the primary control at Wybalenna. Boxthorn control at this significant aboriginal site is carried out with permission of the local land manager and the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania. If weather and sea conditions permit, it is also hoped during the fortnight long working bee to boat out to a few of the off-shore islands on which we have already completed boxthorn control to remove any new boxthorn attempting to establish there.

The second FoBSI working bee for 2016 will take place on Roydon Island between July 23rd – Aug 5th. This will be the 8th consecutive year that FoBSI volunteers have worked on Roydon and more than 2/3 of this beautiful uninhabited 37 Ha island has now been liberated from the vast thickets of boxthorn that had overrun it.

Volunteers participating in FoBSI working bees need to be current financial members of Wildcare Tasmania. A reasonable degree of fitness is required as the work’s physically demanding and boxthorn not an easy plant to wrangle. Fares (ex-Launceston or Melbourne) will be paid for out of funding obtained – muchas gracias – from the Wildcare Board of Management and Landcare Tasmania. Accommodation during the Wybalenna working bee will be at the Marshall Bay beach house owned by Mark Baldwin (many many thanks) while participants on the Roydon trip will need to bring a tent to set up camp around the small hut on that off-shore island. Further details will be provided to anyone wishing to apply for a place on one of these 2016 working bees. FoBSI secretary kat is organising the Wybalenna trip and FoBSI president karen Ziegler the Roydon trip. Contact us via email at or indicate your interest via our facebook page or text/call kat on 0417 377 592.

We’re also collaborating with the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service to help them recruit volunteers for another kind of Furneaux Island working bee this year. A program has been devised by Sue Robinson of DPIPWE to eradicate rats from Big Green Island. The intensive program of laying traps, baiting them, checking, monitoring, reporting & removing them will run from March 7th to July 16th and involve 7 separate working bees of 6-10 days each. This document <click here> explains the program in full and provides specific dates for each of the individual working bees. Our Wybalenna working bee has been timed to fit between Shifts 3 & 4 of the Big Green rats program. To express your interest in being involved in any part of the Big Green rat eradication program contact