Griffiths Island is located just off the Victorian coast at Port Fairy. Focusing on protecting the ecology of Griffiths Island, Friends Of Griffiths Island (FOGI)I was incorporated in 2010 and now has more than 50 members. It aims to maintain Griffiths Island as a sanctuary for plants, birds and animals including a large breeding colony of short-tailed shearwaters*.
Light pollution disorients shearwater fledglings
A particular objective has been the education of the local community on the effects of light pollution on shearwater fledglings as they prepare to follow their parents on the annual migration. This year we held a workshop on rescuing shearwater fledglings and some members were out and about at night looking for the fledglings who had lost their way and become grounded in vulnerable locations. We have been working in close collaboration with the local Moyne Shire Council which organised a fox shoot and turned off unnecessary lights near the island at the critical nights for fledgling grounding.
Coastal communities light pollution program
We are so excited to announce that we have been successful in a funding application for coastal communities light pollution program.
We were 1 of 5 projects receiving a grant from the federal funds. The essential elements of the funding are:
- Light pollution management plan (Griffiths Island and surrounds)
- GI ecology and mapping program
- Community Education program (workshops and postcard series) – Fledgling fall out program
- Research connections with Phillip Island nature parks (light pollution programs)
Eradicating sea spurge and other feral weeds
This year members of FOGI have been engaged in sea spurge eradication experiment with CSIRO trialling the efficacy of a fungus to control it. Other feral weeds, such as Coastal Daisies, African Boxthorn and “Agave cactii” have been removed. This is an ongoing process, but FOGI is committed to continue working on this problem.
Another focus of our group is indigenous planting to provide new refuge for our birds and other native species.
Pied Oyster Catchers
Other FOGI members are interested in monitoring other bird life on Griffiths Island such as the nesting, incubation and hatching of Pied Oyster Catchers.
Contact us via Facebook
A rejuvenated Facebook page has been keeping the community informed and encouraged greater participation in FOGI projects. The page was first created September 2010 but now greater interest has resulted in more than 600 followers, Members of the public can express their interest in joining FOGI by contacting us via a message to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FOGIPF/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The featured image shows Short-tailed Shearwaters returning to Griffiths Island after feeding out at sea
Read more about sea spurge on CSIRO’s website here: https://www.csiro.au/en/news/All/Articles/2022/March/sea-spurge-biocontrol
Sandra, Friends of Griffiths Island