Round Island is managed by Fraser Coast Regional Council. Because of the island’s close proximity to the mainland, it is frequently visited by both locals and tourists.
Two trips (26 July & 23 September 2016) have been made to Round Island this year, the first by two council officers, twelve Lower Mary River Landcare (LMRL) members and community volunteers and a group of twelve from Conservation Volunteers Australia. The second trip included council officers and volunteers with chemical spray certificates (AC/DC) as the trip targeted weeds that required chemical treatment.
These one-day weeding efforts, conducted over the last 4 years, have resulted in a highly significant benefit to this very small, coral sand island of dunal system environment. With the assistance of Juliet Musgrave, her skills and knowledge, the identification of some of the native plants (e.g. Octopus Bush) on Round Island demonstrates that this area is the overlap of vegetation zones on the coast between sub-tropical and tropical. To date, more than 30 native plants have been identified and registered, and the list grows each visit the group makes.
Both short boat trips this year were held in ideal weather. As the vessel the team generally uses was not available, a boat was hired from the Boat Club, which kindly donated the fuel used. Volunteers were accompanied by two Fraser Coast Regional Council environmental officers, Juliet and Terry, who travelled to the island in the council’s vessel.
All participants, including the CVA team, were instructed on weed plant removal or control. Seeds were carefully collected and bagged and most of the plants were pulled and left on the ground to decompose as mulch. The weed coverage on the Island had prevented the growth of native plants especially grasses, but thankfully, with the intensive effort by all volunteers, massive amounts of weeds have been removed and the natural regeneration is more than encouraging.
The removal of the insidious Prickly Pear is proving to be challenging with different methods of chemical treatment being trialled. Removal of woody shrubs such as Broad-Leaf Pepper and Lantana have also been quite successful.
Finally, marine debris was collected and removed from the island. The intention is to lead another trip, later this year, for more details, please contact Lesley.
Lesley Bradley, Lower Mary River Landcare