Pest Eradication Program marks 10-year milestone

Minister for Parks

Pest Eradication Program marks 10-year milestone

17 September 2021

The Tasman Island Pest Eradication Program has reached a major milestone, marking 10 years since the island was declared free from feral cats.

The successful program to eradicate feral cats from the 120-hectare island began in 2008 with a plan to help restore the island’s natural values and was completed in 2009.

Baiting on the island was undertaken on 3 May 2010, followed by trapping and hunting, with the last of the island’s feral cats trapped on 15 May 2010.

A year of intensive monitoring followed using cameras, detector dogs and volunteers searching for signs of cats.

Before the success of this program, feral cats were killing between 30,000 and 60,000 fairy prions per year, along with a significant number of short-tailed shearwaters.

Monitoring of short-tailed shearwater burrows indicates the population has more than doubled to an estimated 15,000 pairs since the feral cats were removed 10 years ago.

It is likely the fairy prion population has also doubled to around 1 million pairs, with evidence of increased breeding activity indicating significantly more chicks fledging compared to when cats were present.

It is wonderful to see this dramatic increase of sea birds on the island, which is expected to continue to increase going forward since the feral cats’ removal.

I congratulate the staff and volunteers of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service for this magnificent achievement and for their ongoing work to ensure the island remains feral cat free.

I also thank Pennicott Wilderness Journeys for their inspiring contributions and significant funding donations to Wildcare which enabled this outstanding project to get off the ground. Well done all for this significant milestone.

Celebrating 50 years of the Police Vessel Vigilant

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Celebrating 50 years of the Police Vessel Vigilant

17 September 2021

The Tasmania Police vessel Vigilant is celebrating a momentous milestone marking 50 years since it first hit the waters to join the Tasmania Police vessel fleet.

Built by Tasmanian boat builder Ray Kemp in 1970 and completed in 1971, the PV Vigilant has a rich history and can often be seen patrolling waters across the State.

PV Vigilant played an integral role in the aftermath of the Tasman Bridge collapse, where it was used as a dive support vessel.

It was also used to search for the cargo ship Blythe Star when it was lost off Southwest Cape in 1973 and was involved in policing the Franklin River protests.

In 2006, the PV Vigilant towed the Lady Nelson to safety in Hobart when it had engine trouble in Storm Bay with a group of school children on board.

Whilst the Vigilant is still going strong, the Tasmanian Liberal Government is also investing $24.6 million to future proof police vessels for Tasmanian marine policing.

We recognise that our marine police officers undertake important roles in policing commercial and recreational marine activities.

The thirty-two police who are attached to Marine and Rescue Services statewide will soon have access to the brand new PV Dauntless, which will be operational before the end of this year.

50 years of continuous commercial operational service is a testament to the Vigilant’s design and construction, and we recognise the efforts of crew members and contractors who have managed and maintained the Vigilant to such a high standard.