18 September 2019

Montague weed control works completed and ready for spring breeding

| Ian Campbell
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Little penguins, Montague Island Nature Reserve. Photo: Stuart Cohen/OEH

Little penguins, Montague Island Nature Reserve. Photo: Stuart Cohen/OEH

Nesting shorebirds on Montague Island are ready for human visitors, with this Eurobodalla gem open for tours again following a spring spruce up and some extra protection.

National Parks and Wildlife Service Area Manager Alan Henderson says the island’s annual August weed control and maintenance program is aimed at supporting nesting seabird habitat.

“With amazing shorebirds on Montague Island, it’s important weed control works are intensive and carried out when birds like the Little Penguins, Shearwaters, Petrels and terns are not nesting,” he says.

“Closing the island to tours during August allows us to focus on this essential work.

“Supported by the Saving Our Species program, the works targeted Kikuyu Grass, Dolichos Vine and Coastal Morning Glory Vine patches growing in remote locations on the island.

“This is not your average Saturday morning yard clean up, with the use of the Park Air helicopter required to assist us in accessing remote parts of the island with essential equipment.

“The island also now has a more efficient, reliable and modern power system after the connection of a solar upgrade in conjunction with solar panels, battery system and back-up generator.

“We are pleased to have reopened and welcome day tours and overnight guests back to this little piece of paradise,” Mr Henderson says.

Montague is home to hundreds of seals and more than 90 bird species. Up to 8,000 penguins live on the island at any one time. Between September and March they are joined by three species of shearwaters, which can produce more than 12,000 chicks per year, and their colonies seem to be growing!

For bookings on book online Montague Island Nature Reserve or call 1300 072 757.

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