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King Island Biodiversity Management Plan

2012–2022








ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This Plan is a King Island Community document prepared by Debbi Delaney under a Steering Committee composed of King Island Community representatives and Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) representatives. The content of the plan reflects the knowledge and experience of the King Island Community augmented by inputs from staff of the Threatened Species Section of DPIPWE and the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC). The Plan was based upon a draft prepared by Lauren Barrow in 2008. The preparation of the Plan was funded by King Island Natural Resource Management Group, the King Island Council, DSEWPaC, and DPIPWE.


Citation: Threatened Species Section (2012). King Island Biodiversity Management Plan. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Hobart.
© Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment

This work is copyright. It may be reproduced for study, research or training purposes subject to an acknowledgement of the sources and no commercial usage or sale. Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Section Head, Threatened Species Section, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Hobart.


Note: The King Island Biodiversity Management Plan (KIBMP) has been prepared under the provisions of both the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (TSP Act). Adoption as a national Recovery Plan under the EPBC Act refers only to species listed under the EPBC Act.

ISBN: 978-0-7246-6794-9 (pdf) 978-0-7246-6795-6 (print)

Cover Photos: Left to right: Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) courtesy of Chris Tzaros (Birds Australia); Green and Gold Frog (Litoria raniformis) and leafy greenhood (Pterostylis cucullata subsp. cucullata) courtesy of Mark Wapstra.

Abbreviations

DECCW New South Wales Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water1

DSEWPaC Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities2

DPI Victorian Department of Primary Industries

DPIPWE Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 3

EPBC Act Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

FPA Forest Practices Authority

FP Act Tasmanian Forest Practices Act 1985

KI King Island

KIC King Island Council

KIBMP King Island Biodiversity Management Plan

KIFMAC King Island Fire Management Area Committee

KINRMG King Island Natural Resource Management Group

NC Act Tasmanian Nature Conservation Act 2002

NRM Natural Resource Management

OBPRT Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team

PWS Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, DPIPWE

RMCD Resource Management and Conservation Division, DPIPWE

TLC Tasmanian Land Conservancy

TSP Act Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995

TSS Threatened Species Section, DPIPWE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


King Island, located at the western entrance to Bass Strait, is treasured by residents and visitors alike for its valuable natural assets and way of life — the natural assets underpinning the Island’s main industries and leisure activities.

The Island is home to a range of native plants and animals, some of which are under threat of extinction. Plant species under threat include, but are not restricted to, native orchids and ferns, whilst the animal species include the locally endemic threatened birds, the King Island Brown Thornbill and King Island Scrubtit amongst others.

It is important to manage these valuable natural assets that make King Island special to ensure their future. The management of biodiversity, including threatened species, is a crucial part of protecting the environment. This does not necessarily mean dramatically changing existing land use practices, but instead developing better approaches within them.

The King Island Biodiversity Management Plan aims to manage the Island’s biodiversity in a manner that not only improves the viability of threatened flora and fauna, but also acknowledges the social and economic needs of the Island’s residents. The Plan has been developed as a cooperative approach between the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment and the King Island Natural Resource Management Group. In addition King Island Council, residents and a range community groups, have been actively involved in many elements of the Plan.

The overall aim of the Plan is that by 2020 there are viable, healthy populations of priority flora and fauna species and vegetation communities on King Island. To achieve this overall aim, the Plan identifies actions to:


  • recover threatened species;

  • address biodiversity management on the Island;

  • address threats to biodiversity and priority species;

  • monitor biodiversity trends to inform decision making; and

  • research to address knowledge gaps to inform adaptive management.

CONTENTS


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ii

1. INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Scope of the Plan 1

1.2 Interaction with other documents 5

1.3 Legislative context 5

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 5

Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 6

Nature Conservation Act 2002 6

Forest Practices Act 1985 6

Other Regulations 7

1.4 International obligations 7

1.5 Management Plan preparation and exhibition 7

2. KING ISLAND AND ITS PEOPLE 8

2.1 Description of King Island 8

Geology and geomorphology 8

Climate 8

Pre-European vegetation 9

2.2 European settlement 9

2.3 King Island’s people 9

Agriculture 10

Fishing 10

Tourism 10

Kelp Harvesting 10

2.4 Community consultation 10



3. KING ISLAND FLORA AND FAUNA 13

3.1 Threatened species categories 13

3.2. Flora 13

3.3 Vegetation communities 13

3.4 Fauna 14

Fish 14


Frogs 14

Reptiles 14

Birds 14

Mammals 15

Invertebrates 15

3.5 Current EBPC Act and TSP Act listings 15

Listed species not considered in the Plan 15

4. THREATS 19

4.1 Introduction 19

4.2 The past 19

4.3 Known and potential threats to King Island’s biodiversity 22

Habitat degradation and fragmentation, including trampling, grazing & hydrological changes 22

Fire 23


Weed invasion 26

Dieback caused by the root-rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi 26

Amphibian chytrid fungus 26

Predation by feral cats 26

Predation by introduced rats 27

Predation by introduced rats represents a potential threat to the island's native fauna, particularly to native skinks and ground nesting shorebirds and burrow-nesting bird species such as petrels (Brothers 1984; Pye at al. 1999). The Black Rat (Rattus rattus) is likely to be more of a threat to native fauna as this species is able to establish self-sustaining populations in native vegetation considerable distances away from human habitation (Pye et al. 1999; Mallick and Driessen 2010). Successful attempts to control feral cat numbers are likely to result in an increase in introduced rat numbers on King Island, which may in turn exacerbate potential impacts of rats on the island's native and threatened fauna (Pye et al. 1999). 27

Predation by Crows 27

Browsing and trampling by Bennett’s wallabies and Brushtail possums 27

Competition from introduced fauna 28

Domestic dogs 28

Off road vehicles/ recreational activities along coastline 28

Tourism 28

Pollution 29

Hunting and collecting 29

Climate change 29

Introduction of new invasive weeds, fauna and disease 29

Stochastic events 29

5. KING ISLAND BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT 30

5.1Management objectives 30

5.2 Priority species for management on King Island 30

5.3 Priority vegetation communities for management on King Island 31

5.4 Priority threats for management on King Island 31

5.5 Priority sites for management on King Island 36

5.6 Actions 39

5.7 Performance criteria 39

5.8 Biodiversity benefits 39

5.9 Role and interests of indigenous people 39

5.10 Social and Economic Consequences 40

5.11 Responsible parties 51

5.12 Plan review and evaluation 51

6. References 52

Appendix 1. Current management documents, policies, strategies and on-ground management 59

1.1 Plans of management 59

1.2 Recovery plans and unpublished reports 59

1.3 Policies and strategies 64

1.4 Research and surveys 66

1.5 On-ground management programs 67



Appendix 2. Species lists for King Island 71

2.1 Vascular flora 71

2.2 Vegetation communities 85

2.3 Vertebrate fauna and threatened invertebrate fauna 86



Appendix 3. Threat impact rating 92

Appendix 4. Major weed species on King Island 97

Appendix 5. SPECIES Profiles 102

Cyathea cunninghamii (slender treefern) 102

Cyathea x marcescens (skirted treefern) 107

Hypolepis distans (scrambling groundfern) 111

Pimelea axiflora subsp. axiflora (bootlace bush) 115

Pneumatopteris pennigera (lime fern) 120

Pterostylis cucullata (leafy greenhood) 124

Tmesipteris parva (small forkfern) 130

Acanthiza pusilla archibaldi (King Island Brown Thornbill) 133

Botaurus poiciloptilus (Australasian Bittern) 140

Haliaeetus leucogaster (White-bellied Sea Eagle) 143

Litoria raniformis (Green and Gold Frog) 145

Neophema chrysogaster (Orange-bellied Parrot) 150

Sternula albifrons sinensis (Little Tern) 154

Sternula nereis nereis (Fairy Tern) 157

Thinornis rubricollis rubricollis (Hooded Plover) 161






Table 1. Threatened flora and fauna on King Island 17

Table 2. Priority species & vegetation communities for management on King Island 33

Table 3. Priority sites for management on King Island 36

Table 4. Prioritised actions for implementation of the Plan, with estimated costs and timeframes 41




Figure 1. Map of King Island 2

Figure 2. Reserves on King Island 4

Figure 3. Aerial map of King Island 21

Figure 4. Peat loss in Lavinia State Reserve (Corbett & Corbett 2010) 25

Figure 5. Distribution of priority vegetation communities on King Island 35

Figure 6. Priority sites for management on King Island 38





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