The Lord Howe Island Board in association with the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage and the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities are responsible for administering legislation to protect, manage and recover threatened species on Lord Howe Island.
Threatened species, populations and ecological communities are listed and managed according to the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Threatened species are defined as species, populations and ecological communities that are considered to be at risk of extinction in the immediate to medium-term in NSW or Australia. Most species are subject to human induced impacts and require specific management actions to ensure they do not continue to decline and become extinct. Both NSW and Commonwealth Acts provide lists of threatened species, populations and endangered ecological communities and Key Threatening Processes.
Several Key Threatening Processes are applicable to Lord Howe Island, details can be obtained from the following links:
- Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 - refer Schedule 3
- Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - Listed Key Threatening Processes
On Lord Howe Island, there are at least 60 species of animal and plant (excluding fish) listed as threatened under NSW or Commonwealth legislation. About 22 of these species are considered vagrants that only visit the island occasionally, whilst the remainder are either resident or regular seasonal visitors or breeders.
LHI already has 9 land birds, 1 mammal, at least 13 invertebrates and 2 species of plant that are known to have become EXTINCT since human settlement. The Lord Howe Island Board undertake a range of threatened species recovery projects in collaboration with NSW and Commonwealth government agencies, universities and volunteer groups to assist in the recovery of threatened species to reduce the potential that these species continue to decline and slide towards extinction.
Key threatened species recovery projects include:
- Woodhen recovery, which commenced in the 1980's by eradicating cats and pigs and implemented a captive breeding program to supplement natural recruitment.
- Discovery of the Lord Howe Island Phasmid on Balls Pyramid (after being thought extinct for over 100 years) and establishing a captive breeding program at Melbourne Zoo and on LHI to repatriate to the Island following the eradication of rodents.
- Planning for a rodent eradication. The eradication of rodents from LHI will remove threats to more threatened species on LHI than any other single project that will result in the recovery of many species, their habitats and essential ecological functions. This project will remove forever the need for the ongoing use of rodenticides. Refer the Draft Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Plan in the Plans area of this website.
- Weed eradication project. This long term project aims to forever remove priority weeds from the Island that are spreading into bushland and altering habitats and outcompeting native plants.
- Rare plant surveys. The Board undertakes periodic surveys of rare plant populations to monitor their condition, population status, threats and where applicable response to weed control works.
- Sallywood Swamp Forest re-vegetation. This project aims to re-construct Sallywood Swamp Forest communities in areas where they were known to previously occur.
- Placostylus breeding research. Mr Ian Hutton, island naturalist, has been undertaking trials on LHI to learn how to breed the LHI Placostylus, which is impacted by rodent predation and habitat fragmentation. Refer the Placostylus Breeding Project Report in the Reports area of this website.
- Reduce impacts of road-kill. Both the Woodhen and Flesh-footed Shearwater are subject to road-kill on LHI. The Board deliver targeted education to school children and the community on the impact of road-kill to these two threatened species. The LHIB have placed signs at known hot spots to alert drivers to be aware of these species.
- Phytophthora walk through scrub stations. Phytophthora root fungus presents a serious threat to the islands unique flora. To reduce the risk of Phytophthora spreading from walkers shoes and walking poles the Board have established walk through boot scrub stations for walkers accessing the southern mountains. All walkers entering these areas are asked to use these walk through stations when accessing Little Island, Smoking Tree ridge or Muttonbird Point walking tracks.
- African Big-headed Ant (ABHA) eradication. The ABHA Pheidole megacephala occurs through the settlement area of LHI and presents a serious threat to the islands unique wildlife, in particular invertebrates. The LHIB have prepared a draft ABHA Eradication Strategy and will commence their eradication subject to obtaining sufficient funding.
- Threatened Species assessments of developments. The LHIB assess Development Applications to ensure they do not impose a significant effect on threatened species, populations or ecological communities.
Appendix to Overview PDF 549 KB