PHILLIP Island Nature Parks is committed to playing a lead role in the conservation of threatened species for Victoria and Australia and is delighted to welcome two young bush stone-curlew birds to the Koala Conservation Reserve.

The birds were raised at Moonlit Sanctuary in Tyabb as part of the national captive breeding program for this threatened species. After an initial settling-in period behind the scenes, they will be moved to a pre-release aviary within the woodland so that visitors and the community can get to know these unique birds.

“Now that Phillip Island (Millowl) is fox-free, we are delighted to be working towards the successful establishment of a self-sustaining population of bush stone-curlew (BSC) with the relevant approvals and support of the local community,” said Thomas Nixon, Phillip Island Nature Parks threatened species officer.

“The ultimate goal is for these two birds to be part of a future wild BSC release as we re-introduce them to the island, and I am excited for the community to meet them and learn about their plight.

“This will allow people to connect with their story of near extinction and learn how they can act to protect bush stone-curlews and other wildlife species on Phillip Island (Millowl).”

BSC are listed as endangered in Victoria and were last recorded on Phillip Island in the 1970s.

Volunteer Youth Wildlife Ambassadors will champion this program and local schools will be involved throughout the project.

The Nature Parks Threatened Species Plan was developed using Structured Decision Making (SDM) as a framework for making logical and transparent decisions about which species to reintroduce to Phillip Island.

“Our team worked closely with Island stakeholders and experts to prioritise a list of threatened species suitable for translocation; we want to continue to involve the community every step of the way.”

BSC eat mostly insects and other invertebrates and do not dig or burrow. There is no known negative
impact on agriculture, farming or infrastructure and they have been successfully translocated into other areas in eastern Australia in the past.

This project is thanks to the work of a dedicated team including the Nature Parks staff and volunteers, in collaboration with Nature Conservation Working Group,

Moonlit Sanctuary, Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

“We respectfully acknowledge the support and traditional ecological knowledge of the Traditional Owners, the Bunurong Land Council in this project,” the Nature Parks said.