Celebrating Five Islands rehabilitation

10 months ago

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), in partnership with NSW Environmental Trust, invited the Illawarra community to celebrate the success of the Big Island seabird habitat rehabilitation project.

Rowena Morris, NPWS Ranger said a free event will be held on 6 April giving people the chance to hear about the project and meet the volunteer groups who are vital to its ongoing success.

"The event will be a great way for people to find out more about the Islands that are largely inaccessible and it's fitting that we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Five Island's declaration as a Nature Reserve," said Dr Morris.

"The significance of the Islands starts way before then and people can learn about the Island's dreaming story through a new book The Story of Five Islands, by the children of Coomaditchie that will be available on the night," Dr Morris said.

The Islands have been part of an active rehabilitation project for the past 4 years and in that time NPWS has seen the return of healthy populations of Little Penguins, Shearwaters and Petrels.

"Thanks to funding from the NSW Government's Environmental Trust and the Port Kembla Community Investment Fund we are able to continue to work with volunteers and the local Aboriginal community to restore the islands though extensive weed removal and revegetation," said Dr Morris.

"By mid-2019 year we hope to have completely rehabilitated about 5 hectares of seabird habitat and planted more than 15,000 native seedlings.

"At our last field trip to the Island with Berrim Nuru and Friends of Five Islands volunteers we were fortunate enough to see numerous shearwater chicks in their burrows.

"This new life is such an encouraging sign that the Islands have also been given a new lease on life.

"By restoring them to their natural state and under the guidance of the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, we have shaped a place the Illawarra community can be proud of," Dr Morris said.

The free event will be held at City Beach Function Centre, Wollongong on Thursday 6 April, 5-7pm. To RSVP call 02 4224 4188 or email five.islands@environment.nsw.gov.au.For more information on the Five Islands Seminar Celebration, visit the NPWS website.