Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Council cuts power to protect Port Fairy birdlife


Every year, the Short-tailed Shearwaters from Griffiths Island in Port Fairy embark on an
extraordinary migration, travelling over 15,000km to the Aleutian Islands.

The fledglings take off a few weeks after their parents, and are vulnerable to predation during this time.

Moyne Shire Council is working closely with the Friends of Griffiths Island volunteer group (FOGI) to give the Shearwaters the best chance of migrating successfully.

‘Switch off for Shearwaters’ invites the community to actively help from April 10 – May 15 by:

● Switching off external house lighting.
● Shielding bright external lights.
● Keeping an eye out for young Shearwaters landing in unusual places, in and around town.
● Ensuring domestic cats are kept indoors at night.
● Joining FOGI as a volunteer.

Lighting at the island’s entrance rotunda will be switched off by Council during this period.

Council will also undertake proactive fox control measures to help protect the fledgling Short-tailed Shearwaters as they get ready for their first migration.

Monday April 15 has been set as the first date for a fox shoot with professional contractors.
The island and the rotunda carpark will be closed to the public from approximately 5pm on Monday while shooting is in progress.

Mayor, Ian Smith said the island will reopen on Tuesday morning April 16.

“Data from the past few years shows us which dates have the most kills from foxes, so we are undertaking a shoot that night to give the fledglings the best chance of survival,” said Mayor Smith.

“Council’s Environment team are getting on the front foot to minimise fox predation of the fledglings.

“We encourage the community to support the Shearwaters by switching off external lights at home and staying clear of the island during the fox shoot,” the Mayor said.

FOGI will launch their ‘Switch off for Shearwaters’ program on Saturday, 11:30am-
12:00 noon at Port Fairy Community House.

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