Friends of the Low Head Penguin

Communities Environment Program.

Friends of the Low Head Penguin Colony were invited by our local member, Bridget Archer MHR, to apply for a grant from the Community Environment Program. The government established this program to support small scale community-led environment projects that address local environmental priorities in 151 federal electorates.

The objectives of the program are to deliver positive environmental and social outcomes and give communities the resources, skills and knowledge to care for the environment.

FLHPC made a bid for $4500 from this fund which was accepted and will cover projects commencing in 2020. This money will assist us in our efforts to reduce the amount of deaths and injuries to the penguin population on the Low Head peninsula through the gathering of data for scientific use, workshops to train volunteers, and public education with the dissemination of information to dog and cat owners on how they may help reduce the number of deaths through pet management.

Collection of Historical Data.

Dr. Woehler, our scientific adviser, requested that we gather as much history on the Low Head penguins, past penguin groups and the infestation of invasive weeds, particularly box thorn, as could be found.

Tim Smith has done extensive research and has produced photographic evidence to show that the boxthorn first appeared on the Low Head peninsula in the 1940’s.

Documentation on loan to us has revealed an earlier draft management plan for the Low Head Coastal Reserve plus photographic records and detailed press reports on the 1995 Iron Baron disaster.

We would request anybody who is able to add any photos or other information relevant to get in touch with us at georgeandhart@bigpond.com or tghsmith@gmail.com

Work on this is ongoing including the archival of the documentation and information acquired.

Mapping of the Penguin Habitat.

This is almost complete. One more activity will be needed to finish this project.

The Cat Management Presentation.

This event took place on 16 th November. There was a good attendance and those who were asked for feedback said that the event was useful and exceeded their expectations. The ladies of the committee assisted by other volunteers provided a delectable afternoon tea from which we raised $88 in donations.

Fencing of the habitat.

Rex Cassidy, George Town Council, has obtained funds for repairing the existing fencing but he has been asked by Parks and Wildlife to hold off for a while as there is a possibility that the construction may disturb penguin nesting. New fencing to be erected around the Queenslander by Parks and

Wildlife has not yet commenced.

Public Education Event

Friends of the Low Head Penguin Colony, the George Town Council, and YMCA are combining to stage a family fun day next year. The theme will be that penguins and dogs can co-habit within the same community providing dog owners comply with dog management procedures. The event will be called “Dogz Day Out” and there will be a lot of fun for everyone. It will take place on 8 th February next, keep your eye on the advertising.

Thank you.

The Friends of the Low Head Penguin Colony would like to thank all those who supported us throughout the year especially Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Bridget Archer MHR, Dr. Eric Woehler,

Associate Prof. Mary-Anne Lea, Stan Matuszek Parks & Wildlife, Sharon Smith and Kim Willing

Wildcare Tasmania, George Town Council and Manager and Staff of the George Town Hub.

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