Page 1

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Author “Bushways Environmental Services – Tasmania” Helen Morgan and Anna Povey, 175 Glenford Farm Rd, Underwood TAS 7268. Email: bushways@intas.net.au Mobile: 0429 197 671 © Bushways Environmental Services – Tasmania st 31 October 2010 Prepared for: Cradle Coast NRM, A business unit of the Cradle Coast Authority P.O. Box 338, Burnie TAS 7320. Cover photo: Revegetation is aimed at improving Penguin habitat around Doctors Rocks.

Acknowledgements This project is supported by Cradle Coast NRM, through funding from the Australian Government‟s Caring for our Country. Bushways thanks the following people who provided assistance or were consulted in the preparation of this report: Anna Wind and Matt Rose, Cradle Coast NRM; Perviz Marker, Penguin Monitoring Group; Lorna Dallas, local resident; Richard Muir-Wilson, Community Development Officer, Wynyard-Waratah Council; Damien Heran, NW Fishcare Coordinator, DPIPWE; Peter Hefferon and Mark Fordham, Parks and Wildlife Service; Kris Carlyon, Marine Conservation Program, DPIPWE; Phil Thomson and Sophie King, Crown Land Services; Keith Chung, Wynyard Little Penguin Tours; Colin Peck, Wynyard Angling Club; Anne Viney, local resident. Mapping data has been taken from the TASMAP Series, DPIPWE Natural Values Atlas, The List, TASVEG, and field work conducted by Bushways.

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Table of Contents Summary ........................................................................................................................................... 4 1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 5 1.1 Background......................................................................................................................... 5 1.2 Description of the study area ............................................................................................... 6 1.3 Location map ...................................................................................................................... 7 1.4 Little Penguin life cycle and habitat use ............................................................................... 8 2 Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 10 2.1 Background research ........................................................................................................ 10 2.2 Vegetation survey and Little Penguin habitat assessment .................................................. 10 2.3 Consultation ...................................................................................................................... 10 3 Site Assessment ........................................................................................................................... 11 3.1 Site descriptions................................................................................................................ 11 3.1.3 Coastal reserve near township ................................................................................... 11 3.1.2 Doctors Rocks Beach................................................................................................. 11 3.1.3 Doctors Rocks Headland............................................................................................ 12 3.2 Vegetation communities .................................................................................................... 13 3.2.1 Coastal scrub ............................................................................................................. 13 3.2.2 Regenerating cleared land ......................................................................................... 14 3.3 Little Penguin habitat on site ............................................................................................. 15 3.4 Other species of conservation significance ........................................................................ 17 3.5 Weed infestations ............................................................................................................. 18 3.6 Existing revegetation sites ................................................................................................. 20 4 Issues and Management Recommendations ................................................................................. 21 4.1 Native vegetation loss and degradation ............................................................................. 21 4.2 Revegetation..................................................................................................................... 23 4.2 Weeds and their control .................................................................................................... 25 4.3 Climate change and sea level rise ..................................................................................... 29 4.4 Erosion ............................................................................................................................. 30 4.5 Dog, cat and rabbit control ................................................................................................ 31 4.6 Access tracks and recreational use ................................................................................... 32 4.7 Vegetation removal and pruning ........................................................................................ 34 4.8 Penguin fence maintenance .............................................................................................. 35 4.9 Penguin viewing ................................................................................................................ 37 4.10 Works in Little Penguin colonies ...................................................................................... 38 4.11 Fire ................................................................................................................................. 39 4.12 Community involvement .................................................................................................. 39 4.13 Monitoring ....................................................................................................................... 40 5 Management Zones and Actions ................................................................................................... 41 5.1 Management zones........................................................................................................... 41 5.1.1 Protection and Rehabilitation Zone - Coastal Reserve near the Township................... 45 5.1.2 Beach Rehabilitation Zone – Doctors Rocks Beach .................................................... 46 5.1.3 Focussed Revegetation Zone – Doctors Rocks Quarry............................................... 48 5.1.4 Headland Rehabilitation Zone – Doctors Rocks Summit ............................................. 51 6 Strategic Priorities ......................................................................................................................... 52 7 References ................................................................................................................................... 53 8 Appendices ................................................................................................................................... 55 Appendix 1. Native plants of Doctors Rocks. ........................................................................... 55 Appendix 2. Weeds found at Doctors Rocks. ........................................................................... 56 Appendix 3. Some native species that resemble weeds........................................................... 57 Appendix 4. Threatened fauna known or possible on site ........................................................ 58 Appendix 5. Plants suitable for revegetation ............................................................................ 59 Appendix 6. Weed control recommendations........................................................................... 60 Appendix 7. Some useful resources ........................................................................................ 63

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 3

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Summary Cradle Coast NRM engaged Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania to provide a Penguin management plan for the coastal reserve from Seabrook Creek to the eastern side of the rocky point of Doctors Rocks, Wynyard, northwest Tasmania. There appears to be a large colony of Little Penguins at this site. The aim of this plan is to ensure that the colony remains stable and healthy into the future, with Penguin numbers maintained or increased, by enhancing the condition of the coastal vegetation and its habitat value for both Penguins and other fauna. No major issues on land for nesting Penguins were identified, but the Penguin protection fence requires maintenance and dog control should be enforced. The coastal scrub is in remarkably good condition opposite the township, despite being confined to a narrow coastal reserve, especially compared with many other coastal strips in urban-rural areas of the northwest coast. The southern part of the site, along the beach and at Doctors Rocks headland, is regenerating cleared land which is not in such good condition but which nevertheless supports high numbers of Penguins. The dense vegetation and the general lack of disturbance (the local township is small) or erosion may be partly why the Penguin population here is large. It is important to maintain this coastal vegetation in good condition by continuing to remove weeds, revegetating gaps and cleared land, and preventing vegetation cutting or other disturbance. This area is a popular spot for beach walking, recreational fishing and gold-panning, and access for these activities should be retained. Penguin viewing tours are also run regularly at Doctors Rocks Beach. Recreational activities do not appear generally to be in conflict with Penguins. However, there have been some occasions where inappropriate behaviour and dogs illegally on the beach have caused problems for Penguins, but these appear to be isolated events. Signs regarding dog control at key access points could help prevent management problems. Doctors Rocks, being the highest point in this area and a popular nesting site for Penguins and other fauna, should be enhanced to provide habitat into the future. Weed control and revegetation would also improve the aesthetics of this popular fishing spot and local landmark. Management of Eastern Barred Bandicoots and White-bellied Sea-eagles, both threatened species, which are known to utilise this area, and should also be addressed through protection and provision of suitable habitat. Management recommendations are made in section 4, with specific actions in four management zones outlined in section 5. Actions that are strategic priorities for greatest effectiveness and that address the most immediate issues are highlighted: 1. Install clear “no dogs� signs at all formal access points. 2. Repair and upgrade the Penguin protection fence. 3. Maintain existing revegetation across the site (e.g. plant maintenance, control weeds around plantings, water during summer). 4. Focussed revegetation at Doctors Rocks Beach, on the western slope of the headland. 5. Focussed revegetation at Doctors Rocks Quarry, on the eastern (grassy) side and alongside path. 6. Control the Sea Wheatgrass patch, and target isolated weeds remaining across the site. 7. Install artificial nest burrows in areas where weed control will occur. 8. Begin control of Blackberry and Broom at Doctors Rocks Quarry. 9. Plant some eucalypts and other trees and shrubs in suitable patches on Doctors Rocks summit to provide improved habitat for Sea-eagles and other fauna in future. 10. Provide a formal beach access at mid-south of township and close informal accesses. 11. Involve the community in protecting the coastal reserve, Penguins and other fauna. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 4

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

1 Introduction 1.1 Background 1

Cradle Coast NRM engaged Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania (“Bushways”) to provide a Penguin management plan for the coastal reserve from Seabrook Creek to the eastern side of the rocky point of Doctors Rocks, Wynyard, northwest Tasmania. This project has three primary objectives: • To improve protection and management of Penguin colonies in NW Tasmania • The development of a Penguin management plan of the Doctors Rocks Coastal Reserve in consultation with the specified stakeholders, and • To provide management recommendations that will be adopted by the Waratah-Wynyard Council and local community groups to minimise impacts on Penguins and improve the management of the area. The study area includes some excellent coastal vegetation and Little Penguin habitat and is valued by the community for fishing, wildlife-watching, gold-panning and walking. The Doctors Rocks area is regularly used by recreational fishers who access the rocky point through Penguin nesting areas. A local Penguin Guide has an agreement with Waratah-Wynyard Council to conduct small group Penguin viewing tours at the beach west of Doctors Rocks. A grant has been obtained to construct a raised boardwalk at the site to minimise the impact of on the resident Penguins accessing their burrows at night. The Waratah-Wynyard Council has drawn up plans and the boardwalk is scheduled to be constructed in the near future. There is a major colony of Little Penguins in the study area. Penguins have been studied here in detail by Perviz Marker and the Penguin Monitoring Group, with some 750 burrows located, indicating the presence of some 1200 Penguins (P. Marker, pers.comm. 4/8/10). Cradle Coast NRM has been working with Table Cape Primary School undertaking weed control and revegetation at the western beach of Doctors Rocks as part of ongoing awareness-raising and education activities and more work is scheduled. A Penguin-proof fence was erected alongside the railway line (or house lots near Seabrook Creek) approximately ten years ago by a Work for the Dole crew to eliminate the risk to Penguins being run over by cars and trains. The development of the fence was initiated by Keith Chung (Penguin Guide) and supported by the Waratah-Wynyard Council. The fence is currently scheduled for repair by a works crew from Mission Australia with funding from the Cradle Coast NRM Community Coastcare project. A contractor has been engaged by Cradle Coast NRM to undertake some top-up revegetation and weed (broom) control on the point east of Seabrook Creek. Some clearing of pine trees and boxthorn has taken place in this area previously and local residents have been involved in some native regeneration of the area. This Penguin management plan identifies threats and sensitive areas for the Little Penguin colony and provides management recommendations and zoned work plans based on a broad vegetation, habitat and threat assessment of the coastal reserve. The plan refers to Guidelines for Works in Areas of Little Penguin Habitat (Marker and Wind, revised 2008) and the Guide to Rehabilitation by Drew Lee, Marine Conservation Branch, Department of Primary Industries and Water (2003). It is prepared with reference to the Nature Conservation Branch Brief for Consultants (Lawrence, 2004), and in liaison with specified stakeholders. 1

Cradle Coast NRM operates as a business unit of the Cradle Coast Authority

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 5

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

1.2 Description of the study area The coastal reserve is a Public Reserve (cad012176238). It is bounded by the Bass Hwy (southern part of site) or the Old Bass Hwy (northern part of site) and is dissected lengthways by the railway line (not currently operational, but maintained by Tas Rail). There is only mown grass and road west of the railway line, so that the naturally vegetated part (the subject of this Plan) is confined to east of the railway line. The Penguin fence also restricts Penguin habitat to east of the railway line. There are two house lots in the north of the study area, near Seabrook Creek, adjoining the reserve. Other houses in this area are on the other side of the road. The length of reserve studied is approximately 1 kilometre, and over this distance the width of the coastal vegetation averages about 15 metres, but varies between 1 metre (where little remains between the railway line and the beach) and over 160 metres wide (at Doctors Rocks Point). The area can be found on the Calder TASMAP 1:25000 map sheet no: 3845, from Seabrook Creek at E: 397184 N: 5459910, to the western side of Doctors Rocks point at E: 397800 N: 5458970. The study area is shown in the location map below. Most of this coastal reserve is leased from the Crown and managed by the Waratah-Wynyard Council. The eastern half of Doctors Rocks, however, is managed by Crown Land Services. The study area is largely vegetated with native Coastal Scrub. Parts of Doctors Rocks Point and the dunes west of it are Regenerating Cleared Land (Tasveg FRG), dominated by pasture grasses and weeds, mixed with some Marram Grass and some native shrubs. The coast has a northeasterly aspect. Doctors Rocks Point itself is an important landmark in the area, clearly visible to all who travel the Bass Hwy.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 6

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

1.3 Location map

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 7

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

1.4 Little Penguin life cycle and habitat use Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor, hereafter referred to as „Penguinsâ€&#x;) are the smallest Penguins in the world and, fortunately, a considerable number of their colonies exist along the North West, North, East and South coasts of Tasmania (Watts 1999, Marker and Wind 2003). Penguins are not listed as threatened but are considered of high conservation significance, and are protected by state legislation (Nature Conservation Act 2002). Little Penguin colonies occupy a wide variety of habitats including rock crevices, deep burrows or simply scrapes in the sand beneath a dense vegetation canopy. Their habitat often extends from near the coastline, to over 100 metres above sea level (a.s.l.), and many colonies occupy the offshore islands of Tasmania (Pemberton et al. 2001). Figure 2. Little Penguin (photo by Anna Wind) Little Penguin habitat generally occurs in coastal vegetation dominated by native plant species such as Boobialla, Coast Wattle (Acacia longiflora subsp. sophorae), Bower Spinach, Coastal Saltbush and Correas (Correa alba and C. backhouseana). Nevertheless, Little Penguins have regularly been recorded utilising habitat dominated by introduced species such as African Boxthorn, Blackberry, Mirrorbush, and Cape Ivy. Hence, weed management in Little Penguin colonies must allow for this, as Little Penguins may make use of any suitable habitat whether it is dominated by weeds or native plants (Marker and Wind 2003). Adult birds may be present in a colony at any time throughout the year, although their numbers generally fluctuate in response to various stages of their life cycle. Pairs of birds breed annually and a clutch of two eggs may be laid as early as May, or as late as November. Male Penguins return to the colony to renovate or dig their burrows between May and August, and as the female birds return, mates are chosen through noisy male courting displays. While Little Penguins select a single mate, they may not remain paired for life. An adult pair share incubation shifts of one-two days and hatching usually takes place within 33-37 days. At three to five weeks old the chicks are left unguarded by parents and at night can be seen outside burrows waiting to be fed. At an age of seven to eight weeks the chicks are ready to take to the sea where they will mature and then return to their original colony to begin breeding as young two year old birds. Once chick rearing is complete adult birds return to the sea to feed for about 15 -21 days before returning to commence moulting. Moulting takes place between February and April and can take up to 15 days to shed the old feathers and grow their replacements. During this time the Penguins remain entirely in their burrows or on land, living off their food reserves (Marker and Wind 2003).

Figure 3. Little Penguins moulting (photo by Anna Wind) Little Penguins are most susceptible to human disturbance during the chick raising and moulting periods. Furthermore, survey results have indicated that breeding in the colonies can be quite variable, reflecting variations in seasonal conditions and food supply. Hence, there is often only a small window of opportunity to undertake works such as revegetation, weeding and construction in little Penguin colonies. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 8

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 4. Penguin Life Cycle Calendar

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 9

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

2 Methodology 2.1 Background research A Natural Values Report was conducted through the Natural Values Atlas (DPIPWE, August 2010) for all threatened flora and fauna records within 5 kilometres of the site, any other threatened fauna that may occur (based on Habitat Mapping), as well as TASVEG communities. 2.2 Vegetation survey and Little Penguin habitat assessment A field visit was conducted on 4th August 2010 by Helen Morgan, Anna Povey and Sam Morgan, Bushways, with Anna Wind and Matt Rose, Cradle Coast NRM, and Perviz Marker, Penguin Monitoring Group. Perviz, Anna Wind and Matt identified Penguin areas and management issues across the site, including existing and potential revegetation sites and recreation locations. Bushways then continued a field assessment of the site. Vegetation communities and major flora species, including weeds, and the general condition of the vegetation were identified. Issues and threats to Little Penguin habitat and vegetation were noted. A comprehensive vegetation assessment or Penguin counts were not part of the project brief. Penguin numbers and occupation of areas have been recorded in detail by Perviz Marker and she kindly provided an overview of the Penguin colonies on site. Evidence of Little Penguin occurrence, including burrows, feathers, tunnels, tracks, carcasses and scats, was also noted incidentally during the course of this field survey. Keith Chung, local Penguin tour guide, also kindly provided his observations of Penguin numbers and locations (pers.comm. 3/9/10). Particular attention was paid to the areas of Little Penguin habitat and the type and distribution of issues including weeds, dog and cat control, informal tracks, Penguin viewing spots, erosion and presence or lack of native vegetation. Presence or signs of any other fauna were noted, and likely species of threatened fauna in the area were considered. Although this Management Plan is focussed on Penguins, it is important to allow for habitat needs of other fauna. Ecological vegetation communities were described according to TASVEG Version 1.0 classifications (Harris & Kitchener 2005). All botanical names are in accordance with the recently updated “A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania� (Buchanan, 2008). Locations were recorded with a handheld GPS, using datum WGS84 (equivalent to GDA94). 2.3 Consultation Initial advice was provided during the field assessment by Anna Wind (Facilitator Team Leader) and Matt Rose (Weeds Officer), Cradle Coast NRM, and Perviz Marker, Coordinator, Penguin Monitoring Group. Other stakeholders were consulted regarding coastal management issues: Richard Muir-Wilson, Manager Community Services, Waratah-Wynyard Council; Sophie King, Crown Land Services; Keith Chung, Penguin Tour Guide (Sydney); Damien Heran, NW Fishcare Coordinator; Judy and Colin Peck, Wynyard Angling Club; Mark Fordham, Senior Ranger, PWS, DPIPWE, Ulverstone; Lorna Dallas, local resident; and Anne Viney, local resident. A draft management plan was produced by Bushways, and provided to the following stakeholders for comment: Richard Muir-Wilson, Waratah-Wynyard Council; Sophie King, Crown Land Services; Perviz Marker, Penguin Monitoring Group; Anna Wind, Cradle Coast NRM; Peter Hefferon, Parks and Wildlife Service, DPIPWE; Rosemary Gales and Kris Carlyon, Marine Conservation Program, DPIPWE. Comments have been addressed for this final Penguin management plan.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 10

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3 Site Assessment 3.1 Site descriptions 3.1.1 Coastal reserve near township The reserve is in best condition near the township, southeast from Seabrook Creek to the narrow railway bank north of the road junction. There is healthy coastal scrub (up to 40 metres wide although much narrower in several places), which is full of attractive White Correa, Native Pigface and Coast Beardheath, as well as many other plants. Penguins occupy this scrub, as elsewhere throughout most of the site. Platypus and Water-rats are found in the creek, and other animals such as Wallabies, Bandicoots and many birds live in the scrub. This area could be used as a reference area for the local native coastal vegetation, to guide revegetation elsewhere. Weeds are few since recent woody weed control, although there is a large patch of Sea Wheatgrass near the creek, some garden escapes and Sea Spurge, and an established patch of pines north of the Little Penguin interpretation sign. The reserve suffers from being excessively narrow in some places, especially where only steep banks separate the railway line from the beach itself. There has been some vegetation cutting in places (e.g. for garden encroachment in the north, and in front of houses further south), but this is limited. Although the scrub is in best condition in this stretch, it is most likely to be impacted by tracks and cutting due to its proximity to the township. There has been garden development in the road verges near the road junction, which threatens the narrow coastal reserve with invasion by these garden daisies etc. There is a popular formal beach access track with Penguin interpretation signs at the mid-north of this stretch, but other access tracks are informal and unsigned. The influence of the creek, the rock platforms offshore and beach onshore, the healthy native scrub and the Penguins and other fauna, make a rich natural environment here. 3.1.2 Doctors Rocks Beach The reserve along the main beach is lower and more uniform than the rest of the site, with low vegetation that is dominated by pasture grasses and Marram grass, though regenerating with Saggs, Saltbush, occasional Coast Wattles and a few other species. Despite being more impacted by past vegetation clearing than the township part of the reserve, this area also supports many Little Penguins, and provides the location for Penguin viewing tours. Many Penguins also access the headland from the southeast corner of this beach. The habitat opportunities for other fauna appear much more limited due to the lack of diverse native vegetation, but revegetation may improve that over time. Revegetation works have been conducted recently, and further efforts should greatly improve the condition of this stretch. As this beach is viewed from the Bass Highway, predominantly low plantings would be preferable. There is a formal access track at the south-eastern end of this beach, which is to be upgraded with a proposed boardwalk in the near future.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 11

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.1.3 Doctors Rocks Headland The headland is accessed by a path from the Bass Hwy roadside parking area at the far southeast of the study area, and this path is used by fishermen and gold panners to reach the point and the rock platforms. The path passes through what appears to be an old quarry. There are almost no native plants at the quarry apart from Pigface in the open areas, and some Coast Wattles. Dense Blackberries and Canary Broom fill the base of the quarry on the western side of this area and the bottom of the cliff beside the path. Dense pasture grasses occupy the eastern side of the quarry area, with some patches of Blackberries here too, and a patch of Mirrorbush. Erosion is affecting the north-eastern edge of this area, beside the path. This area would greatly benefit from native revegetation. The sides of the headland are steep and rocky and generally inaccessible. Access to the top of the headland is a scramble up the sides of the quarry. The top has large exposed rockplates, and areas of shallow soil on rock. In cracks and depressions there is deeper soil, especially around the lower parts, which supports more vegetation. A dense infestation of Canary Broom, and some English Broom and Blackberries, as well as pasture grasses, covers most of the area. Nevertheless, this site retains patches of native vegetation, with some plant species which are not found elsewhere in the study area, including some isolated eucalypts. Large numbers of Penguins occupy the headland, along with Bandicoots (species not identified) and numerous Rabbits, and Sea-eagles sometimes perch on the trees. With its varied niches, elevation and usual absence of people, this is probably an important site for many fauna, despite the serious weed problems here. It is also a local landmark, and its importance for recreation must be considered. Revegetation (leaving the access path and an open space in the middle of the quarry) would improve fauna habitat, erosion control and recreational amenity.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 12

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.2 Vegetation communities The narrow native vegetation beside the OId Bass Hwy of the township consists mainly of coastal scrub (Tasveg code SSC). There is a patch of Radiata Pine trees between the access track and 82 Old Bass Hwy, covering some of the reserve and some of the private land. Beside the new Bass Hwy, at Doctors Rocks and the beach west of it, the vegetation is “regenerating cleared land� (Tasveg FRG). With weed control, revegetation and time, much of the regenerating cleared land and the Pine patch could be returned to native coastal scrub. None of these are listed as a threatened vegetation community (DPIW 2005), but they (especially the native coastal scrub) do provide essential environmental services, including protection of coastal sands from erosion, shelter of inland vegetation and residences, and habitat for fauna such as Little Penguins and others. The native plant species found across the site are listed in Appendix 1, with introduced plants listed in Appendix 2. 3.2.1 Coastal scrub The coastal scrub in best condition here has a good range of native plant species and few weeds. Although there has been some cutting of trees and tall shrubs, and some garden extension, generally this is limited. The scrub is dominated by shrubs such as White Correa and Coast Beardheath, with some other species including Coast Wattle, Coast Saltbush and Coast Paperbark (in damp sites). The understorey is dominated by Coast Swordsedge and Bower Spinach, with occasional Silver Tussock Grass or Sagg. The coastal edge tends to have Native Pigface, Coast Speargrass or occasional Beach Spinifex. Where conditions are suitable there are some Saltmarsh elements at the seaward edge, including Shrubby Glasswort and Australian Saltgrass. In some places there are additional species, which add to the diversity of the site, including Silky Guineaflower, native White Elderberry, Prickly Box, Boobialla, Banksia, Kangaroo Apple and many more. There were more Banksias in the scrub until recently (A.Viney, pers.comm.). Figure 5. A wide range of species in the coastal scrub.

There are now few woody weeds in the coastal scrub, thanks largely to weed control work done by volunteers and Cradle Coast NRM. Nevertheless, some remain scattered throughout, including occasional Boxthorn, Canary Broom, Blackberry and Mirrorbush. Mature Radiata Pines occur in a patch, and there are some Pine seedlings nearby, although most have been removed during weed control works. There are also weedy understorey plants throughout in varying numbers but these are not dense, again thanks partly to weed control work and also to the healthy native vegetation and relative lack of disturbance. The coastal edge of the scrub has some Marram Grass and Sea Spurge. There are pasture grasses (Foggrass, Onion Twitch and Cocksfoot) and pasture weeds in varying amounts throughout, and some dense patches of Three Cornered Garlic. There are patches of the serious beach weed, Sea Wheat Grass, near Seabrook Creek and on Doctors Rocks Beach. There are introduced Yellow or Angled Pigfaces (which could not be identified to species without flowers) in a gap in the coastal scrub and occasionally elsewhere (presumably planted or escaped from plantings). There are also some other garden escapes, including an unidentified lily, Sydney Coast Wattle, Trailing Daisy, Cotoneaster and Periwinkle. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 13

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.2.2 Regenerating cleared land The vegetation of Doctors Rocks and Doctors Rocks Beach consists of a large proportion of pasture grasses (Cocksfoot, Onion Twitch, Yorkshire Fog, etc), with other weeds (Marram Grass, Blackberry, Canary Broom, Sea Spurge and various weedy herbs) and native coastal scrub plants amongst this matrix in various proportions. Many native coastal scrub plants are regenerating, although the dense pasture grass is a strong competitor which limits regeneration and revegetation success. Doctors Rocks Beach has mostly low native plants amongst the pasture grasses and Marram Grass, such as Sagg, Bower Spinach, Pigface, and some Correa, with only isolated Coast Wattles. Recent revegetation here has not yet grown much. Figure 6. Recent revegetation aims to increase native plant numbers at Doctors Rocks Beach.

There is greater diversity of native plants on Doctors Rock itself, which includes some eucalypts (Black Gums, Blue Gums and Stringybarks). There are patches of Paperbark, Prickly Starwort, patches of White Correa, and a fair covering of Silver Tussock, Sagg, Bower Spinach, Coast Saltbush and native Pigface, occasional other species (Native Elder, Boobialla, Arching Swordsedge, Spreading Flaxlily etc). However, there is also a very substantial area of Canary Broom on the Rock, as well as areas of Blackberry and pasture grasses. It is a varied habitat on the Rock, with rockplates in some places, deeper soil in patches, some damp areas and a range of aspects and drainage. Some Saltbush and Tussock Grasses (and Broom and Blackberry) extend down the cliffs. There is little native regeneration at the old quarry area of Doctors Rocks, with this area dominated by pasture grasses and weeds, Canary Broom and Blackberry. There is some Pigface, a clump of Coast Wattle and some Bower Spinach in this area, but native plants are limited in numbers. This area requires more active regeneration.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 14

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.3 Little Penguin habitat on site Little Penguins are the subject of this plan, and this site supports an important colony. A recent count located some 750 active burrows, supporting an estimated population of approximately 1200 birds, between the eastern side of Doctors Rocks and just south of the Penguin interpretation panels (P.Marker, unpublished data). It is thought that more Penguins, at a similar density, occur in the scrub between that point and Seabrook Creek. The dense and diverse native plant assemblage and the general lack of disturbance or erosion may partly explain why the Penguin population here is so healthy. There is approximately one kilometre of coastal vegetation, excluding some of the excessively rocky parts of the Doctors Rocks headland, which is almost entirely colonised by Little Penguins. Nevertheless, the Penguin habitat area is restricted by the railway line and Bass Highway, the Old Bass Highway and residential area, all within metres of the coast. The widest section of Penguin habitat in the Doctors Rocks township area, situated south of the large pine trees, is approximately 50 m wide, while the coastal vegetation at Doctors Rocks beach is only approximately 25 m wide. The Doctors Rocks headland itself is a substantial size, 2.8 ha in total. The headland, being the highest available habitat in the area, is likely to be very important for Penguin habitat in the future as sea level rise and increased erosion takes effect on the present shoreline. Penguin numbers appear to have increased in the Doctors Rocks Beach and headland area over the last five years (K.Chung, pers.comm.). The eastern end of the beach is a well-established runway for Penguins coming ashore, with some birds moving into the beachside vegetation and others tracking up the slope onto the headland. Another key access point was identified during this survey at the northwest corner of the headland, where Penguins are entering a slit in the rocks and scaling a small cliff to reach the top. The eastern side of the Point is also a major route used by Penguins, though recent erosion has prevented Penguins using the northern part of this side (next to the foot track). Recent removal (in the 2009-10) of weedy Broom near the interpretation panels opposite the township has reduced Penguin numbers in that location (K. Chung, pers.comm.). The weeds were checked for Penguin habitat before weed removal and no birds were nesting amongst weeds that were removed. (A. Wind, pers.comm.) Revegetation has been undertaken, but will take some time to establish. Penguins are nesting close by and more artificial burrows could be provided. A Penguin-proof fence was erected alongside the railway line approximately ten years ago by a Work for the Dole crew to eliminate the risk of Penguins being run over by cars and trains. Before that, this stretch of road had perhaps the highest Penguin roadkill level in the state (K.Chung, pers.comm.). Although the Penguin fence limits available Penguin habitat, it has been successful in preventing high numbers of Penguin deaths from roadkill. A few pairs of Penguins go under the road by using culverts, and nest in residential gardens (L. Dallas, pers.comm.). The fence runs the full length of the study site, running through the patch of large mature pines in the coastal reserve fronting the residential area. It does require maintenance in places indicated on the map. Branches fall on the fence, long grasses and climbers grow over it and animals (Penguins, Rabbits, etc) dig underneath it. In one place the railway gravel is encroaching over it. These factors and general fence decline mean that regular maintenance will remain necessary for the fence to be fully effective. Penguin burrows are evident beneath a range of different plants, including natives Sagg, Bower Spinach, Pig Face, Coastal Saltbush and Coast Wattle, as well as under introduced grasses. Fallen branches, broken concrete slabs and other debris also offer good nesting sites, especially when climbing plants scramble over them. Artificial burrows have been installed in the revegetation site at Doctors Rocks beach and in the coastal reserve at the Seabrook Creek end. Many of these are evidently being used by the Penguins.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 15

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 8. Penguin burrow beneath Sagg Figure 9 (below). An artificial burrow well placed for Saggs to create an excellent burrow site. Figure 7. Penguin burrow beneath Bower Spinach

Figure 10 (left). Burrow under Coast Wattle.

A board walk is being considered for the Penguin habitat area at Doctors Rocks Beach where guided Penguin viewing is supported by the local council and a low seat provides a place for people to sit quietly and watch the Penguins come in. Figure 11. Penguin habitat, revegetation area and Penguin viewing at Doctors Rocks Beach.

Although there do not appear to be any major issues for Penguins here currently (now that the fence largely prevents roadkill), some issues for Penguins and their habitat were identified during the survey and in discussion with local people and experts. These are discussed in more detail in Chapter 4 and include fence decline, clearing of vegetation, informal beach access, weed invasions, inappropriate Penguin viewing, disturbance by fishers in certain locations conflicting with Penguins coming ashore, dog attacks, feral cats, restricted habitat due to infrastructure, possible erosion and future sea level rise. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 16

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.4 Other species of conservation significance No threatened flora species were found on site. Only one species, Showy Willowherb, Epilobium pallidiflorum, has been previously recorded within 5km of the site (Natural Values Atlas, 2/8/10). Threatened fauna recorded or likely near this site are tabled in Appendix 4. Eastern Barred Bandicoot, listed as Vulnerable (EPBC Act 1999), are known in the area (L. Dallas, pers.comm. 31/8/10) and have been recorded nearby (several records along the Bass Hwy here; Natural Values Atlas, 8/10). This species requires areas of dense vegetation for shelter, near open grassy areas for foraging for pasture grubs etc. They are known to forage in nearby lawns (L. Dallas, pers.comm.), and some characteristic conical diggings were found on top of Doctors Rocks during this survey. These Bandicoots would appreciate the shelter in the dense vegetation here, and forage in open grassy areas, some of which should be maintained for this species. White-bellied Sea-eagles are known to rest in trees on Doctors Rocks (M.Rose, pers.comm., 4/8/10), and would hunt over the ocean. With revegetation, it may be possible to enhance potential nesting sites on Doctors Rocks for this species. Several threatened species (including Giant Freshwater Crayfish, Burnie Burrowing Crayfish) are known in Seabrook Creek or its catchment, but would not be likely in this coastal reserve. Other threatened fauna species such as Swift Parrots, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Tasmanian Devil and Masked Owl may forage on site while moving through the landscape. It is possible that Quolls and Devils could have dens in the dense vegetation of the reserve. Other, non-threatened, fauna which are known here include Water Rats and Brown Bandicoots (L.Dallas, pers.comm.), Platypus (in Seabrook Creek, and coming out occasionally to the beach: local resident, pers.comm., 4/8/10); Wallabies (possibly Pademelons), Brushtail Possums, Black Cockatoos (feeding on the pine cones), Pelicans, Sooty Oystercatchers, Pied Oystercatchers, Pacific Gulls, Silver Gulls, Little Wattlebirds, Cormorants (possibly Little Pied or Black-faced) and Blue Wrens. Unfortunately, Rabbits are also common here. Many other fauna species would certainly live here, including many other birds, snakes, lizards, spiders, butterflies and other insects. All these fauna species should be considered during management of the site.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 17

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.5 Weed infestations Weed invasion is one of the greatest threats to dry coastal vegetation in Tasmania (Kirkpatrick and Gilfedder 1999). Considerable efforts have controlled a large proportion of the woody weeds in parts of the Doctors Rocks Reserve to date. Large woody weeds have been controlled using the „cut and paint‟ or „frill and fill‟ techniques, and smaller weeds have been sprayed in the coastal scrub opposite the Doctors Rocks Township. No weed control has occurred in the area around Doctors Rocks Point or along the adjacent beach. Figure 12. The frill-and-fill technique has been successful in killing this Cotoneaster. Weeds found during this survey are listed in Appendix 2. Major weed locations are shown in Figure 23 (page 28). Recommendations for weed control are in Appendix 7. (Note that there are some native species which resemble weeds but should be avoided. These are listed in Appendix 3.) Foredune weeds Marram Grass, Sea Wheat Grass and Sea Spurge occur here. These are the three most devastating weeds found on Tasmanian beaches (Rudman 2003). Sea Wheat Grass here is only found in some patches, near Seabrook Creek and on Doctors Rocks Beach. Marram Grass and Sea Spurge occur along the beach edge throughout the study area. Marram Grass is relatively sparse across the whole site, with most found at Doctors Rocks Beach. In areas where these weeds are currently sparse, control should be a priority. Sea Spurge control has been carried out along the beach but will need follow-up. Controlling Marram Grass has proven to be very difficult. Most management recommendations state that the best control method is to prevent population expansion through maintaining healthy native vegetation condition and to control small isolated or new populations (Rudman 2003). The Doctors Rocks Point area has the greatest densities of weeds in the reserve. Canary Broom (and some English Broom) was present in very high densities on the summit of the rocky headland. There are numerous Broom seedlings, and the likelihood of a significant soil seed bank. Blackberries were also prevalent across this area, particularly on the lower southeastern side of the headland in the old quarry site. A mature Radiata Pine and a Boxthorn are present at the north tip of Doctors Rocks Point. There are also isolated Mirrorbushes in places around the edge of Doctors Rocks. Figure 13. Many of the Broom on the summit are remarkably leafless, suggesting browsing by some insect (possibly an introduced biological control agent).

A large stand of very old Radiata Pines is also located towards the north-western end of the reserve, just east of the two residences that exist between the railway and the beach near Seabrook Creek: partly in one private garden and partly on the coastal reserve. The residents have removed some of these Pines (A. Viney, pers.comm.), and they and the Council have controlled Pine seedlings in an effort to contain their population.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 18

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

The gardens of the two residences located between the railway and the beach just east of the Seabrook Creek are encroaching somewhat onto the coastal reserve, one of them by cutting of native vegetation, garden plantings and placement of seating. Many weed species, including Pines, introduced Pigface, Cotoneaster, Sydney Coast Wattle, Arum Lily, Geranium, mainland paperbarks and Lathyrus pea, appear to have spread from these gardens or been deliberately planted. Informal access tracks at these houses also reduce the cover of native vegetation and may be promoting the spread of weeds through the thin strip of remnant coastal scrub. However, residents of one of the houses are active in controlling Pines and other weeds in the coastal reserve, and coastal scrub around this lot is in generally very good condition, despite the presence of the remaining Pine stand. The coastal scrub has regrown towards the boundary of this property, since a track past the property is no longer used by the public (A.Viney, pers.comm.). Several areas of the coastal reserve are dominated by agricultural grasses such as Cocksfoot, Yorkshire Fog and Harestail Grass, particularly along Doctors Rocks Beach and in small cleared patches amongst the coastal scrub opposite the township area. These areas are ideal for revegetation with native species. The woody weed control undertaken throughout the majority of this reserve is to be commended. The major woody weed infestation remaining appears to be now restricted to the Doctors Rocks Point area. Remaining weeds throughout are mainly monocotyledonous or herbaceous weeds such as pasture grasses, Three Cornered Garlic, Soursob, Sea Wheat Grass, Marram Grass, Sea Spurge, introduced Pigface, Trailing Daisy, Montbretia/Watsonia, Caper Spurge and Wild Turnip.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 19

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

3.6 Existing revegetation sites The revegetation site at Doctors Rocks beach was initiated two years ago. Native plants including Silver Tussock Grass, Boobialla, White Correa, Velvet Correa, Banksia, Prickly Box, Coast Beard Heath, Coastal Saltbush, Spreading Flaxlily and Sagg have been planted. Some of these plantings are surviving well, although in need of some maintenance. Stakes and guards need attention, plants need weeding and some need to be replanted. Most of the plantings between the beach access and the headland have died due to weeds outcompeting plants and lack of maintenance. Figure 14. Revegetation site at Doctors Rocks Beach

Natives already growing naturally within this site include Sagg, Bower Spinach, Spreading Flaxlily, Pig Face, Coast Wattle, Knobby Clubsedge and Bracken, and this vegetation is providing Penguin habitat. Penguins are also burrowing under pasture grasses and using artificial burrows placed in the area. The revegetation will enhance the habitat further and is well worth persevering with. Figure 15. Revegetation site at Doctors Rocks Beach looking west from the headland.

Cocksfoot, an aggressive introduced grass is occupying 75% of the ground cover and posing a serious threat to revegetation attempts.

Introduced grass, Cocksfoot, is rampant throughout the revegetation site, occupying 75% of the ground cover and competing strongly with any revegetation plantings. A concerted effort is required to bring this weed under control and give the native vegetation a chance to survive. There are recent plantings in the coastal reserve adjacent to the Doctors Rocks township. Some of the plants are growing well, while others need some maintenance work which is difficult to schedule as works are not recommended during the Penguin breeding season. Further revegetation could be carried out in this reserve in conjunction with weed control. There is potential for further revegetation to be carried out at both these sites, in addition to works at new sites in the old quarry at Doctors Rocks and on the headland. Figure 16. Recent plantings near the Penguin interpretations panel.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 20

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4 Issues and Management Recommendations Issues for Penguins, their habitat and the coastal vegetation at this site are described here, with recommendations for addressing these. 4.1 Native vegetation loss and degradation The native vegetation along the coast here is narrow, constrained by railway and road, and cannot afford to become any narrower. Loss of native vegetation has occurred as a result of:  past clearing,  ongoing weed invasion,  informal accesses,  some removal of vegetation for views  garden encroachment on the coastal reserve  some damage from railway maintenance Coastal vegetation is essential for protection of the foreshore and adjacent infrastructure. Narrow coastal vegetation is very vulnerable to dieback and erosion, so that incremental degradation of vegetation (such as by garden encroachment, removal of vegetation and construction of illegal tracks) can lead to substantial losses in the end. Loss of coastal vegetation removes habitat, and exposes the coast to wind and a serious risk of erosion, with possible impacts on infrastructure. The narrowness of this vegetation severely restricts the available habitat for Penguins, which are essentially confined by the Penguin fence (and road) to the few metres of coastal reserve. Any further loss of this native vegetation will remove Penguin habitat. A primary aim for coastal vegetation management should be to maintain both canopy species and understorey cover and diversity, thereby providing the habitat niches and structure required for Penguins and other fauna. The railway line is very close to the coast, so that in places there is almost no coastal vegetation, and there is no opportunity to widen this vegetation. At two locations, the railway is only a short, steep bank away from the beach, so there is a strong risk of erosion undermining the railway in future. Although currently unused, the railway is still maintained for weeds. Such maintenance works can damage adjacent vegetation if not practiced with care. Past clearing has occurred on the headland and along the beach, with substantial changes to the vegetation and subsequent pasture grass and woody weed invasion. The coastal vegetation has been cleared and cut in places for views and garden expansion. Deliberate cutting fortunately appears to be minor at present, but should continue to be discouraged. Dumping of garden waste was an issue in the past but has apparently largely ceased since the Penguin fence was constructed, more defining the area as a reserve (Richard Muir Wilson pers. Com. 2/9/10). Although the coastal scrub here is largely in very good condition, there has been some death of Banksias and Correas in recent years, attributed to smothering by vigorous Bower Spinach (A. Viney, pers.comm.). Bower Spinach is a natural component of coastal scrub and a valuable Penguin habitat plant and erosion control. Nevertheless, it is possible for certain native shrubs to out-compete others at times, with the balance between various species determined by complex environmental factors. In the absence of a scientific study of the site, it can be difficult to know what is natural or appropriate in such a narrow, semi-urban coastal strip. A balance may be attempted by simply including more of the species which appear to be lacking or declining (Banksias, Correas and Boobiallas) in any planting, and fewer of the vigorous Bower Spinach in this good coastal scrub. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 21

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

The vegetation in this study site is, on the whole, healthier than many other coastal residential areas of the north-west. There is an opportunity here to further improve the continuity and robustness of the coastal strip with some management actions. Recommendations: 

Retain all existing native vegetation and avoid further damage.

Maintain the areas in best condition as a first priority. Expand from these to the surrounding areas, and reinforce poor areas.

Raise community awareness of vegetation values and wildlife protection needs.

Liaise with residents who have coastal reserve frontage to control their encroaching gardens and replace the native vegetation in the coastal reserve.

Establish a local “care” group to take an active interest in the coastal reserve.

Leave fallen branches, dead trees and fallen logs as important wildlife habitat.

Maximise width and connectivity of vegetation wherever possible through active revegetation.

Continue the successful weed control work.

Provide formal beach access opposite the mid-southern township

Close informal tracks with signage and revegetation.

Revegetate focussed areas at Doctors Rocks quarry and headland.

Revegetation at Doctors Rocks Beach and the township reserve should continue with maintenance and further plantings.

Revegetation issues and techniques are described in section 4.2, below. Recommended revegetation sites are discussed in Chapter 5.

Monitor potential impacts such as garden dumping and raise community awareness of this issue if needed.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 22

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.2 Revegetation Revegetation is recommended for most zones, to be done during May to July when Penguins are least sensitive. It should be integrated with the weed removal program. Priority sites for revegetation are:  Gaps in township coastal scrub, such as where vegetation has been cut, informal access tracks (after closure) and where weeds have been removed  Narrow banks where the railway line is threatened by erosion.  Doctors Rocks Beach, grassy slope up western flank of headland – shrubs and small trees for increased Penguin habitat, diversity and attractiveness from highway.  Doctors Rocks Beach – low plants throughout, with a few clumps of taller shrubs spaced widely (including a clump behind the seating).  Doctors Rocks Quarry – mixed hardy scrub species to replace weeds, provide Penguin habitat and prevent erosion.  Doctors Rocks Headland – some eucalypts, other trees and shrubs in suitable patches for quick improvements in habitat. The species in the good coastal scrub should guide revegetation efforts. It is considered that Penguins prefer species such as Bower Spinach, Coastal Saltbush and Correa for habitat (P. Marker and C.Shield, pers.comm.). However, other species should also be included for diversity and habitat for other fauna. Appendix 5 is a list of suitable local native species and Penguin-friendly plants. Site specific revegetation lists for the Quarry have been provided in Appendix 6. In general, a mix of plants should be used, with some variety depending on different situations, as they have various values for coastal stability and shelter, and for habitat for Penguins and other fauna. Where the vegetation is regenerating cleared land (Doctors Rocks Beach and Headland), vigorous, Penguin-friendly plants should dominate the mix. Figure 17 shows a good mix of species and structure to emulate, which also tend to be relatively strong competitors with pasture grasses. Figure 17. Plantings in regenerating cleared land should emulate this natural mix and structure.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 23

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

In the good Coastal Scrub, make sure to include a greater proportion of other species, such as White Correa, Coast Beardheath, Banksia, Prickly Box, Boobialla, Kangaroo Apple and Coast Paperbark (in damp sites). Do not plant too many of the vigorous climbing Bower Spinach and Coast Saltbush, which may smother other plants in this healthy scrub. Figure 18. Revegetation of gaps in the coastal scrub should emulate the natural mix of species in the scrub.

Space Coast Wattles widely. Coast Wattle is a very drought-hardy plant, provides wind shelter and improves the microclimate for other plants, helps slow erosion, and provides food for insects etc. However, at this site it seems to form a naturally smaller component of the coastal scrub, and is not so essential for holding sand dunes together. Recommendations: 

In introduced grass sites, spot-spraying prior to planting will be necessary as grass is a very strong competitor. Spot-spray 1 metre around where the plant will go.

In Marram Grass and Three Cornered Garlic sites, plant into bare patches, or spot-spray or dig to create a 1 metre bare area. Continue to remove Marram Grass or Garlic that grows into plant guards, until plants are well established.

In good coastal scrub, include fewer vigorous climbers (Bower Spinach, Coastal Saltbush) and more other species (especially White Correa, Coast Beardheath, Banksia).

Water plants well following planting.

Planting should be done from May to July, to avoid disturbing Penguins, and also to ensure adequate soil moisture during establishment.

When planting, ensure that the plant‟s roots are deeply planted, sand/soil is firm around the plant, and ideally a small “dish” remains in the soil surface, to assist water penetration to the plant.

Stake and guard plants against browsing to ensure success.

Trial mesh guards, which may be less likely to be knocked over by wind than solid guards.

Monitor survival and plan future plantings accordingly.

Check that Pigface is the native species. It is possible that some nurseries are selling the introduced species.

Space Coast Wattles widely.

It is not advisable to plant Coast Tea Tree anywhere, even though a native, as it can be invasive and is not currently on site.

Follow-up weed control is absolutely essential for successful revegetation. Re-spray around bags in grassy areas at least every 12 months until plants are well established. .

For best results check plants two or three times a year to straighten bags, re-stake, water if possible, weed inside bags and generally monitor the health of the revegetation site.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 24

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.2 Weeds and their control Weeds are sometimes used by Penguins for habitat, but they compete with native vegetation and present an ongoing risk of expansion and degradation of the coastal scrub. It is essential to continue weed control work in this area, and to aim to replace weeds with native vegetation over time. The most difficult area for weed control here is the Headland area, due to the density of weeds and the difficulty of access to the top. However, there would be benefits of weed control and revegetation for long-term habitat for Penguins and other fauna, given the threat of sea level rise and erosion elsewhere on the coast. Penguins inhabit this area, both on top of the headland and in the quarry area, so any weed works must consider potential impacts on Penguins. The large disused quarry on the south-eastern side of the headland is full of Blackberry and Broom, but is proposed for revegetation. Weed control in this area must be staged with appropriate revegetation efforts to ensure the Penguin‟s habitat is not compromised. Further information on this area is detailed in the focussed revegetation plan in section 5.1.3. Most of the top of the headland is dominated by introduced Broom, with some major Blackberry patches and pasture grasses as well. The infestation is very dense in places and will require a considerable effort to control the Broom and revegetate with natives. In some places there are more native plants and fewer Brooms, and these patches should be prioritised. The cut-and-paint technique is probably the most suitable on the headland, as the Broom had very little foliage to absorb sprays, possibly due to biological control agents. However, spray may be effective where the Broom is dense and if the plants develop sufficient leaves at times. Woody weed control has been largely completed throughout the rest of the coastal reserve. Isolated individuals of Broom, Boxthorn, Mirrorbush, Radiata Pine, Cotoneaster, Sydney Coast Wattle and Introduced Paperbarks were the only remaining species of woody weed; these should be controlled promptly to avoid further spread. As the major beach weed, Sea Wheat Grass, is currently only present in a few patches, this should be a priority for elimination if possible. The remaining grassy and herbaceous weeds in the reserve can be mostly dealt with in conjunction with revegetation. Patches of weeds can be sprayed out and planted into with native species. However, some species such as the unidentified lily, Arum Lily, Caper Spurge, Sea Spurge, and Lathyrus sp. may need focussed efforts to control their populations. Although most Pigface across the site is the native species, there are introduced Pigface (either Yellow or Angled Pigface) patches in the township coastal reserve (just north of the Pines, mixed with pasture grasses), at Doctors Rocks Beach (near the Penguin viewing site) and on the headland, although Native Pigface is also present at these sites. The introduced species is larger in all its parts and a more vigorous plant, covering a larger area per plant. There is a concern that the introduced species, where it is dense, prevents Penguins making burrows (P.Marker, pers.comm.). Care should be taken to distinguish between these species, and ensure that the introduced one is removed, and that any plantings are definitely of the native species. Recommendations: 

Target Sea Wheat Grass for elimination.

Control remaining isolated or sparse weeds throughout, as minimal effort now can prevent further invasion.

Focus efforts on preventing weed invasion of good native vegetation, before working towards weedier, more degraded areas.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 25

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Spot-spray pasture grasses (particularly along Doctors Rocks Beach and on the western flank of the headland) and revegetate, to gradually replace the grasses with natives. See section 5.1.1.

Plant native shrubs into gaps in the areas dominated by Marram Grass and Three Cornered Garlic and ensure follow-up maintenance for their best chance of survival.

Remove introduced Pigface and revegetate with other species. Carefully identify and retain the native species.

Stage control of the Blackberries and Broom in the old quarry, together with revegetation and considering Penguins. See section 5.1.3.

Consider control of Broom and Blackberry on the Doctors Rocks headland, as resources allow and only if revegetation and follow-up control can ensure efforts are not wasted. This is a very large job and it is suggested that areas of sparse weeds are dealt with first. See section **

Follow-up control is always necessary.

After control (and follow-up control if necessary) of weedy patches, natives should be planted.

Some swathes of continuous weeds can be easily targeted, as herbicide spray may be used cost-effectively without excessive damage to native plants. These areas can then be revegetated, so that long-term benefits are gained. Do not spray large areas of weeds unless they are going to be revegetated, or without checking for Penguins first.

If using foliar spray, ensure spray does not drift onto nearby native vegetation. This is especially important when weeds are tangled amongst natives.

In areas where weeds are tangled amongst native vegetation, they should be controlled using more sensitive techniques (e.g. cut-and-paint or stem-scrape method). Consult Weeds Officers for advice on techniques. These sites are a high priority where the weeds are still sparse so control can be most effective.

Some weeds provide nesting habitat for Little Penguins. Issues such as whether to remove them at all, the timing and techniques for removal must be considered carefully. It is important that any weed control is performed according to guidelines outlined in section 4.9 (Works in Areas of Little Penguin Habitat).

Figure 19. Monbretia/Watsonia invading the coastal scrub near the Doctors Rocks Township.

Figure 20. An old Radiata Pine which has been cut down and left in situ is now providing excellent Penguin habitat, as native plants like Bower Spinach scramble all over the woody debris.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 26

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 22. Broom in flower at the summit of Doctors Rocks Headland.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 27

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 23. Weeds in the Doctors Rocks Coastal Reserve

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 28

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.3 Climate change and sea level rise The vulnerability to climate change of the North West Tasmanian coastline and infrastructure has been assessed (Sharples 2006) and flooding and erosion due to sea level rise and storm tides are identified threats. This narrow, constrained vegetation has little room to lose. Doctors Rocks Beach and the coastal area immediately opposite the Township of Doctors Rocks are classified as “open sandy shores backed by bedrock - potential beach erosion, lesser recession vulnerability”. The Doctors Rocks Headland is classified as “sloping hardrock shores minimal vulnerability to flooding or erosion”. The entrance to the Seabrook Creek is classified as “Open Sandy shore backed by soft sediment plain- potential erosion and shoreline recession vulnerability”. The coastline immediately adjacent to the two residences on the coastal side of the Old Bass Highway is not classified: “Vulnerability unclassified – requires site-specific assessment of vulnerability or otherwise” (Sharples 2006). There is little that can be done under this management plan to address climate change, but awareness of the potential issues may influence prioritisation of other actions. For example, identifying higher sites for long term habitat provision and protection of the coastal vegetation are even more important given vulnerability to erosion. The rocky nature of the Doctors Rocks Headland, and its higher elevation, makes it a high priority site for Penguin habitat in the future, considering potential threats to the lower sandy habitats from sea level rise, storm surges and associated erosion. Doctors Rocks Beach and the township vegetation are not as elevated but have parts of the coastline fringed with rock, providing some protection from storm surges and associated erosion. The native vegetation in the township area is likely to provide more secure Penguin habitat into the future than the lower sandy areas at Doctors Rocks Beach and around the entrance to Seabrook Creek. Recommendations:  Protect coastal vegetation to withstand erosion as long as possible  Prioritise provision of Penguin habitat on higher ground, especially the headland.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 29

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.4 Erosion On the whole, coastal erosion is not currently a major environmental issue within this reserve. This most likely reflects the protective nature of the rocky coastline. Furthermore, much of the coast is protected by coastal scrub. The Doctors Rocks Beach is still reasonably intact, thanks to the coastal rock shelves that fringe this area. However, there has been considerable erosion on the east side of Doctors Rocks. The lack of coastal vegetation here means there is no protection from erosive forces that do occur. This may have been a landfill area. Until recently it supported a vehicle track (P. Hefferon, pers.comm.). Figure 24. There has been some erosion on the eastern side of Doctors Rocks, where there is no coastal vegetation.

There is a risk of future erosion along the railway in places where there is only a short, steep bank and very narrow, limited coastal vegetation. While the rocky coastline may be protective at present, climate change and sea level rise may increase this risk in future. These banks should be kept well vegetated. The Seabrook Creek area, and the coastline in front of the properties east of the creek, may have potential for erosion. Although this area of coast is also fringed by rocky shelves, the native vegetation in the coastal reserve is reduced by informal access points and encroaching private gardens. Furthermore, the mouth of the Seabrook Creek appears to be subjected to significant tidal movements which may transport sediment along the coastline, and may exacerbate erosion in this area. Figure 25. Declining shrubs show degradation of the coastal reserve in front of this house. Piles of debris show this area’s tidal activity, which may lead to erosion in future.

Native plants, such as Coast Wattle, Bower Spinach and Coastal Saltbush, are better at reducing erosion than Marram Grass. Marram Grass severely affects the dynamics and movement of sand in the foredunes, which are then more susceptible to erosion (Thorpe, 2005). Pigface provides excellent erosion protection on dunes. These plants, with their trailing branches and roots, also appear to provide access potential for Penguins which have trouble scaling steep banks. Figure 26. Pigface providing foredune erosion protection.

Recommendations:  Close informal tracks and strengthen dune vegetation with revegetation. 

Revegetate degraded areas that are prone to erosion (e.g. eastern side of Doctors Rocks, and narrow banks beside railway line) as soon as possible.

Use native plants such as Coast Wattle, Bower Spinach, Coastal Saltbush and Pigface, as they are quick to establish and will provide the necessary protection within a short space of time. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 30

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.5 Dog, cat and rabbit control Dogs killed some 90 Penguins over just two weeks at Wynyard 10 years ago, and some fourteen Penguins were killed at the pine trees area at Doctors Rocks in another event (P. Hefferon, K. Chung, pers.comm.). Furthermore, past reports indicate dogs have killed Little Penguins on the Doctors Rocks Beach. It is clear that dogs can be a very serious threat to the Penguin colony. Dogs have also been noted on the beach with their owners at times (R. Muir-Wilson, K. Chung, pers.comm.), and are not always under control. Dogs are prohibited from accessing all of the coastal reserve and beach southeast of Seabrook Creek (Waratah Wynyard Council regulations under the Dog Control Act 2000 and the Dog Control Regulations 2001). This, and the $1000 fine, is clearly stated on a sign at Seabrook Creek, but signs are lacking at the major access points. Cats, both feral and domestic, are a threat to Penguins and other wildlife and are likely to be present throughout the Reserve. Cats have been seen on Doctors Rocks headland (K. Chung, pers.comm.). Foxes have been reported about one kilometre southeast of the site (K.Chung, pers.comm.). If foxes inhabit this site, they are likely to have a devastating impact on the Penguins. Rabbits are present in very high numbers at the summit of Doctors Rocks headland area evidenced by rabbit scats, diggings and browsing of vegetation. The rabbits may be playing a role in broom control, but are also potentially impacting native vegetation and Penguin habitat. Recommendations: 

Place dog control signs (clear and specific) at all formal access points.

Dog signage should be checked regularly and replaced if necessary.

Cat owners should be encouraged to keep their cats at home and a feral trapping program should be established.

Investigate methods for rabbit control (in conjunction with broom control and revegetation) on the headland.

Any reports of foxes should be taken seriously and acted upon, with the aid of the DPIPWE Fox Taskforce. Call 1300 369 688.

Figure 27. Good, clear dog control signage, such as this sign at Seabrook Creek, is necessary at all access points to inform beach users of restrictions.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 31

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.6 Access tracks and recreational use Only a few formal access points are designated within the study area. A formal access track exists opposite the northern end of the township. Another formal access with steps is located at the south-eastern end of Doctors Rocks Beach, and is utilised by beach goers, Penguin viewers and occasionally people wishing to fish. Fishermen and gold-panners also access the south-eastern side of the Doctors Rocks Headland from the small parking area just off the Bass Highway. None of these tracks appear to be causing major issues, although use and pruning along the Beach track may cause some disturbance to Penguins. An upgraded formal access point is planned for this access at Doctors Rocks Beach. A grant has been obtained to construct a raised boardwalk at the site to minimise the impact of Penguin tours and other visitors on the resident Penguins accessing their burrows at night. Previously vegetation was removed and a track cut to create easier access for Penguin viewing. The proposed raised board walk will keep Penguin habitat intact and allow Penguins to move underneath. The WaratahWynyard Council has drawn up plans and the boardwalk is scheduled to be constructed in the near future. Informal access points to the beaches are an issue in parts of the study area. These unnecessary tracks generally correspond to the number of residences fringing the reserve, i.e. around the township. The native vegetation in these places is already narrow, so further fragmentation from informal tracks degrades its integrity. Informal access points are generally associated with gaps in the native vegetation, so are ideal sites for revegetation. Provision of another formal access track for the mid-southern part of the township could reduce the use of informal tracks. Figure 28. Informal beach access opposite the township, with native vegetation cut-over illegally.

Vehicle access is not permitted on any of the beaches within the study area. Fishermen have occasionally used the beach at the township coastal reserve for shark fishing at night during the summer (R. Muir-Wilson, pers.comm.). Sometimes these groups bring dogs and lights which are likely to disturb Penguins and may interfere with their return to shore. Some fishermen once occupied a major Penguin access route at the eastern end of Doctors Rocks Beach, persisting in using this site over a month, despite being informed of the potential disturbance to Penguins (K. Chung, pers.comm.). However, in general these are not considered good fishing locations and are rarely used (C. Peck, Wynyard Angling Club, pers.comm.). Most fishers go to the end of Doctors Rocks Point, using the pathway. There is no indication that fishers, goldpanners or others at Doctors Rocks Point have caused disturbance to Penguins, and this is a valued site for these activities. Any issues would arise only after dusk, and would most likely involve incidental encounters along the path. While the path is open and clear, it should be easy for both Penguins and people to see and avoid each other. However, there has been some damage to the Penguin fence at the access gate, where it appears that people step over the fence rather than use the gate. Figure 29. People appear to be stepping over the Penguin fence rather than using the gate, which has damaged the fence (repaired with a piece of iron).

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 32

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Recommendations:  Informal access points should be closed and revegetated as a high priority. 

A new formal access track could be established (to replace several illegal tracks) at the midsouthern part of the township, provided this does not interfere with a Penguin colony.

Repair the Penguin fence at the access to Doctors Rocks Point, and improve the gate so that it is easiest for people to use the gate, rather than step over the fence.

Place “no dogs” signage at all access points.

Ensure that the path used by fishers and others along the eastern side of Doctors Rocks Point is kept open. Any revegetation done on either side of the path should provide shelter for Penguins while retaining visibility along the path itself.

Gain assistance from Fishcare and SeaNet programs to help resolve Penguin habitat disturbance issues from recreational fishing.

Figure 30. The formal access at Doctors Rocks Beach is planned for an upgrade.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 33

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.7 Vegetation removal and pruning Although the railway along this section of the coastline is currently not operating, lopping and spraying of vegetation is conducted annually as part of TasRail‟s maintenance program. As a rule, these activities extend to the boundary of the railway corridor. Sometimes, over-zealous maintenance occurs and the native vegetation of the coastal reserve may be sprayed. This can reduce the viability of already narrow coastal vegetation, and increase the risk of erosion. As the railway is very close to the beach in two places, any increased erosion could jeopardise the railway line. Figure 31. Railway spray has avoided exotic plantings, while killing native tussocks on bank, and some spray has killed vegetation in the narrow coastal reserve.

Some illegal removal of trees and pruning has occurred in the coastal reserve, for views and informal access and also to extend a garden, particularly opposite the Doctors Rocks Township. Vegetation cutting is relatively limited at present, but nevertheless removes habitat, increases light levels to the understorey and exposes the coast to wind and erosion, and can increase weed invasion and dieback. There is evidence of increasing gardening of the sea side road verges opposite the town ship. Many of these seemingly pretty plants are actually environmental weeds and are threatening the health of the coastal reserve. There is often an attitude amongst local residents that dead timber must be „tidied up‟. Dead plant material, both standing and fallen, is important for perching and shelter for animals, food for fungi and invertebrates, erosion mitigation, and improving soil structure. Education regarding the environmental importance of this dead timber may reduce these behaviours. Recommendations: 

Permission should be gained from TasRail before people go onto the rail corridor (e.g. to maintain Penguin fence), to ensure there is no risk from any trains or maintenance vehicles which may operate sporadically.

Communicate with railway authorities to ensure that they appreciate the significance of this coastal vegetation both for erosion control and as Little Penguin habitat.

Railway depot managers need to be aware of these issues, and maintenance contracts should reflect this (e.g. with limits to spray width and timing).

Local residents should be alerted to the importance of maintaining coastal vegetation, and strongly discouraged from cutting it. Awareness-raising could include signage, letter box drops and field days.

Educate the community about the important role of dead plant material in the natural environment.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 34

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.8 Penguin fence maintenance This fence is urgently in need of repair to ensure that it continues to protect Penguins from the road and railway line. The fence is currently scheduled for repair by a works crew from Mission Australia with funding from the Cradle Coast NRM Community Coastcare project. Many places along the fence line were identified as needing repairs (See map in Figure 34). Often rock rubble had slid off the railway crushing the fence, or the base of the fence had lifted up, where it was not dug in properly during the initial construction. In some situations a skirt and rocks have been placed at bottom of the fence on the coastal side to keep Penguins from pushing through. This appears to have been successful with no obvious holes in these areas (See Figure 32). Near the Pines there is a hole under the fence, temporarily blocked with sticks to prevent Penguin use. However, a small animal, possibly a native marsupial, has been seen using a hole in this section of fence (Perviz Marker pers. comm. 18/10/10). It would be worthwhile monitoring animal movement here at night and leaving these holes in place, as, even if a few Penguins do use them, the benefit to other fauna may be significant.

Figures 32 and 33. The Penguin fence is in good condition in the left photo with a skirt to keep Penguins on the coastal side of the fence. In several places the fence is in need of repairs (photo right); often where railway gravels have slid into the fence or animals have pushed underneath it.

Recommendations:  Conduct planned Penguin fence repair works as soon as possible. 

The fence needs to be dug into the ground to stop Penguins pushing under it or alternatively a 10-15 cm skirt could be placed on the coastal side of the fence. This technique has already been utilised in this reserve and appears to be effective.

Works may need to be undertaken to prevent railway gravels sliding into the fence, or the Penguin fence may need to be slightly realigned to prevent this happening in the future.

Repair the Penguin fence at the access to Doctors Rocks Point, and improve the gate so that it is easiest for people to use the gate, rather than step over the fence.

Retain existing small holes that may be used by other animals but monitor them for excessive disrepair and evidence of increased Penguin traffic. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 35

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 34. Location of Penguin fence and repair sites.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 36

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.9 Penguin viewing Inappropriate Penguin viewing has the potential to create problems for Penguins with disturbance from bright lights, noise and the sight of humans. A local Penguin tour guide, Keith Chung, has an agreement with Waratah-Wynyard Council to conduct small group Penguin viewing tours on Doctors Rocks Beach, and conducts tours in a way that aims to minimise disturbance to Penguins. Members of the public may occasionally go to view Penguins without a guide, and may not be aware of how to do this without disturbing the birds. It is important that tours and any informal Penguin viewing follow these guidelines for viewing Little Penguins:  Keep group sizes small (< 10 people) and remain in a tight group.  Take dim torches emitting a red or yellow light (red cellophane can be used) and always point light behind the Penguins and never at the water.  View Penguins from an area away from their main runway onto the beach.  Settle the group before dark and remain still and quiet.  Wait for the Penguins to come in and allow them to find their own route to the burrows.  Do not chase, feed, attempt to touch or disturb Penguins in any way.  Do not use flash photography and turn off mobile phones.  Walk quietly when leaving.  Keep to the formed track.  Wear dark clothing for camouflage.  Wear sturdy shoes for walking at night.  Do not leave any rubbish or food scraps.  Do not take pets.

Figure 35. Taller shrubs behind the seating area would help prevent Penguins seeing people silhouetted against the sky.

Recommendations: 

Ensure that Penguin tour groups adhere to the above guidelines.

Plant taller shrubs in a clump behind seating, to reduce visual impact of people for Penguins.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 37

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.10 Works in Little Penguin colonies Works, including revegetation and weed control, can cause disturbance to Little Penguins especially during their breeding and moulting seasons; the most sensitive times for Penguins. Even walking over the site during these activities may inadvertently damage the fragile burrows. Plan to undertake major works from May to July, to coincide with the least sensitive periods of their life cycle. Consider the likelihood of disturbance to Penguins if planning works outside this time period. Works which disturb Penguins include use of chainsaws and other machinery, control of weeds in which Penguins are nesting, work involving large numbers of people, revegetation near their burrow or large scale works of any kind. Have the site checked by a Biologist from the Biodiversity Conservation Branch or a Parks and Wildlife Ranger to be sure of the birds‟ activity stage at that time (Marker and Wind 2003), as it can vary from year to year. Weed removal must be considered carefully as weeds may be providing important habitat. Penguins are known to nest under Blackberry, Boxthorn, pasture grasses and Mirrorbush. Use by penguins can be determined by visual or audible detection of the bird itself, or may be indicated by the presence of scats, feathers, burrows or runways. Removal techniques can ensure that least disturbance occurs: 

Control of any weed actively used by Penguins should only be done during May-July, avoiding disturbance to the Penguins.

Do not totally remove weeds that are providing Penguin habitat in the absence of native vegetation. For example, Blackberries at Doctors Rocks quarry are providing Penguin habitat in an area with little other vegetation. In this situation weed control should be staged, with artificial burrows provided while native revegetation establishes.

Remove young weeds that are not yet developed as habitat.

Do remove weeds where there is already ample native vegetation for habitat. For example, sparse remaining Boxthorn in the coastal reserve beside the township are a minor component of Penguin habitat. Here, such invasive weeds should be controlled as they threaten the health of good vegetation.

Large scale works should be staged, to minimise disturbance to Penguins.

Replant natives where weeds have been removed, either at the same time or once follow-up control has ensured successful weed kill.

Artificial burrows can be placed to provide for Penguins while revegetation develops

Step carefully to avoid burrows.

Kill weeds in situ if possible, leaving roots in the ground and the dying tops standing. Plant quick-growing native climbers like Coastal Saltbush and Bower Spinach at the base.

Be sure, with this method, to bag and remove from the site any seeds. Dispose of them properly.

Do not use chemicals before checking that there are no Penguins present.

Use specific chemicals and preferred methods like cut and paint, drill and fill, and frilling.

Always adhere to safety directions and application rates (follow the herbicide label)

Avoid foliar spraying as much as possible in nesting areas. If foliar spraying is used, do so in wind-free conditions, using a careful operator so that there is no risk of spray drift affecting surrounding native vegetation or Penguins. (Foliar spraying can be an effective way of controlling dense weed patches so that native habitat can be established.)

Follow-up control will be necessary as some vigorous weeds can re-shoot. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 38

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Revegetation here should be planned specifically for Penguin habitat requirements, while bearing in mind the needs of other fauna and flora: 

Plant species similar to those in surrounding Penguin habitat. (See Appendix 5).

In weeded or burnt sites, plant vigorous climbers, Coastal Saltbush and Bower Spinach, to climb over remaining stumps and branches.

In the coastal scrub, however, include a greater number of other species, such as Banksia, Correa, Boobialla and Coast Beardheath, so that vigorous climbers do not overly dominate.

 Plant some taller shrubs also, for canopy and increased shelter, to obscure human observers, and to provide for habitat for other fauna.

 Where bandicoot diggings are found, leave some open grassy areas for their foraging requirements.

4.11 Fire Any bushland has the potential to burn. Random access and proximity of the bush to urban areas increases the risk of accidental fire, arson, and intentional burning off. Coastal vegetation is especially vulnerable to bushfire due to the dryness of the environment, volatility of some plants, and often windy conditions. The Tasmanian Bushcare Toolkit (Kirkpatrick & Gilfedder 1999) recommends that fire is not necessary and be excluded from coastal vegetation (or reduced in frequency in some vegetation types). Fire can make coastal dunes vulnerable to erosion, weed invasion, loss of species and habitat, and increased human access and impacts. Recommendations 

Every effort should be made to avoid fires in coastal vegetation.

4.12 Community involvement Although there is no local Coastcare group at present, there has been community involvement at this site with weed control and revegetation done by Table Cape Primary School, the Penguinproof fence erected by a Work for the Dole crew with the help of local Keith Chung (Penguin Guide) and supported by the Waratah-Wynyard Council, weed control work by local residents, and weed control and revegetation undertaken by Cradle Coast NRM. The fence is currently scheduled for repair by a works crew from Mission Australia with funding from the Community Coastcare project. Further community involvement should be encouraged and supported, to benefit the coastal reserve and Little Penguins. 

News stories, field days, educational events will all help to involve and maintain community interest.

Involve local people in special events and related project activities such as Penguin surveys, working bees, monitoring activities, etc.

Establishment of a local coastcare group, if possible, could achieve a lot in this area.

Hold a Native plants and animals information day and invite local residents.

Letter box drop to local residents about the management plan and include brochures like “Creeping Backyards”, “Coastal Weeds of the Cradle Coast Region” and “Grow Local”.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 39

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

4.13 Monitoring Monitoring is important for providing baseline information and to show trends over time. It can be invaluable to guide the progress of projects and evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies as well as measuring achievements. Cradle Coast NRM and Waratah-Wynyard Councils are the organisations best placed to conduct a general monitoring program and maintain records. At the very least, a record of activities management undertaken within the reserve should be kept. Where possible, GPS mapping of activity outcomes is considered good practice. A series of waypoints (at each significant change) can be used to represent areas of revegetation or weed control, or lines of fencing or tracks closed. Perviz Marker and the Penguin Monitoring Group are monitoring the Little Penguin population here. Keith Chung is also aware of some changes in Penguin numbers observed during tours. Expert advice and support from the Biodiversity Conservation Branch (DPIPWE), Parks and Wildlife Service can also be sought for Little Penguin monitoring. Penguins:  The numbers of Penguins and how they use the habitat area  Density and distribution of burrows  Preferred vegetation structure and species for nests.  Preferred access points to colony  Timing of breeding and moulting  Incidence of predation/death and probable cause  Behavioural changes and possible cause Weeds:  Take photos of site before and after weed control activity.  Take notes of extent of weeds before weeding.  Keep records of weed control methods used, especially any herbicides used.  Inspect sites annually, take photos, and program follow-up weed control. Revegetation:  Keep records of numbers and species planted, site preparation, date, etc.  Take photos of site at planting and as plants grow.  Check and remove weed/grass growth in early spring, especially around each plant.  Check survival of plants (e.g. after summer). Consider cause of deaths and replant if possible. Plan management and re-plantings accordingly.  Remove guards once plants are established. Vegetation condition:  Photos can be taken every five years of various representative sites (fixed photo points are particularly useful for comparison), and notes taken of apparent condition.  Bushways or Cradle Coast NRM may assist with setting up monitoring systems of bushland condition. Track recovery:  Establish photo points and take photos of site before and one year after track closure. Erosion:  Establish photo points and take photos annually, and record any catastrophic event.  Measure erosion rates with stakes (but not in volatile areas where more damage may occur from the stake). Pest animals:  Dogs on site, off-lead or unattended.  Rabbit presence, numbers, scats and burrow density and distribution.  Cats trapped, numbers and locations, feral or domestic. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 40

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

5 Management Zones and Actions Specific management actions are detailed by Management Zone (section 5.1) below. Management recommendations in general have already been discussed in Chapter 4, above, and should be read along with the following actions. In all zones, conduct works with prior consideration of Penguins (see section 4.10) and other fauna. Major works should only be done May – July to avoid disturbing Penguins. 5.1 Management zones Four management zones have been defined based on environmental characteristics, habitat for Penguins and other species, recovery potential, benefits to be gained and the type of activity required. Management zones were identified as:  Protection and Rehabilitation Zone: Coastal Reserve near the Township Generally good native vegetation and Penguin habitat, and excellent habitat for other fauna. Major aim is to maintain this zone in good condition, and enhance with plantings and weed control.  Beach Rehabilitation Zone: Doctors Rocks Beach Previously cleared land is now regenerating. Major Penguin area, but poor habitat for other fauna. Major aim is to continue regeneration of native vegetation, and to protect Penguins.  Focussed Revegetation Zone: Doctors Rocks Quarry Highly impacted area, weed infested, with some erosion. Penguins do live amongst weeds. Recreational area for fishers and gold-panners. Major aim is to replace weeds with native revegetation, as a community revegetation project to improve visual amenity and fauna habitat.  Headland Rehabilitation Zone: Doctors Rocks Summit Very weedy area, but with some quite diverse native vegetation in patches. Important as habitat for Penguins and other fauna. Valuable as high ground, providing long-term habitat. Major aim is to improve habitat with some focused plantings. Weed control will be difficult so should be strategic.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 41

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 36. Map of management zones

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Table 1. Management Zones Zone Name

Protection and Rehabilitation Zone

Coastal Reserve at Doctors Rocks Township

High Priority

Current Condition

GOOD - diverse native vegetation, with generally reasonable width. Provides very good Penguin habitat. POOR in patches where weeds, clearing and informal tracks have impacted, and very narrow bank sections.

Management Aims

Priority Actions Install clear “no dogs” sign at access points. Install more artificial burrows where weeds are removed. Continue woody weed control, including Pines.

Protect and enhance native vegetation and habitat. Rehabilitate impacted and narrow patches.

Control herbaceous and grassy weeds, especially Sea Wheat Grass and Sea Spurge. Provide another formal access track in the mid-south of this area, and close informal tracks. Council to liaise with residents to remove garden from coastal reserve. Revegetate gaps, especially after weed control. Maintain Penguin fence.

Beach Rehabilitation Zone

Doctors Rocks Beach

FAIR - very weedy grasses with patches of native vegetation. Condition appears to be improving. Many Penguins in native and grassy vegetation, artificial burrows and revegetated area.

Rehabilitate native vegetation and habitat.

Grassy weed control before revegetation.

Maintain and progress revegetation

Plant some clumps of taller plants, e.g. behind seating.

Enhance habitat for Penguins and other fauna.

Construct boardwalk.

Encourage responsible Penguin viewing

Install clear “no dogs” signage.

Plant vigorous, Penguin-friendly (mostly low) natives throughout.

Plant western slope of headland, including some shrubs and trees.

Take care to avoid disturbing Penguins and burrows during any works.

Maintain Penguin fence.

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010



Current Condition

Management Aims

Priority Actions Cut-and-paint isolated woody weeds (Boxthorn, Mirrorbush)

Focussed Revegetation Zone

Doctors Rocks Quarry

POOR – little native vegetation, very weedy, lot of bare ground, ugly. Penguins nevertheless present amongst weeds.

Revegetation to enhance habitat and aesthetics. Protect and enhance existing native vegetation and Penguin habitat. Retain recreational access to point and improve amenity.

Control dense weeds (grass, Blackberries, Broom) in stages, with revegetation also in stages (see 5.1.3) and installation of artificial burrows to replace weedy habitat. Revegetation of quarry and along path edges. Conduct all works May-July to avoid disturbing Penguins. Repair Penguin protection fence and improve gate. Install “no dogs” signage. Retain clear path.

FAIR to POOR very weedy, but native vegetation fairly good in patches. Headland Rehabilitation Zone

Doctors Rocks Summit

Many Penguins where not too rocky. Habitat for other fauna inc. bandicoots and eagles. Generally undisturbed by people.

Protect existing native vegetation Improve habitat for Penguins, sea-eagles and bandicoots. Control broom, feral cats and rabbits

Remove large pine tree on the point of the headland and any seedlings. Monitor for pine wildings and remove. Revegetation, starting in moist areas of deeper soil to connect existing good vegetation. Plant more trees for future sea-eagle perches. Strategic weed control (broom, blackberry, etc), starting where weeds sparse and in good native patches. Weed worse areas only when ongoing follow-up possible.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 44

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

5.1.1 Protection and Rehabilitation Zone - Coastal Reserve near the Township This zone is the highest priority as it:  includes vegetation in the best condition in the study area,  provides excellent habitat for Little Penguins and a variety of other fauna,  offers the best value for conservation efforts. The native vegetation and Penguin habitat in the Coastal Reserve near the Doctors Rocks township is in good condition and every effort should be made to maintain and improve this. Removal of the Pines is recommended if possible, as they are an ongoing source of seedlings into the surrounding coastal scrub. Although there are Penguin burrows in the scrub below the Pines, the native scrub is sparse due to the shading and competition from the Pines and may not be able to regenerate over time. The scrub, and the Penguin habitat it provides, would improve with the removal of the Pines. Sheoaks and Banksias could be included in revegetation following Pine removal, to provide alternative food for Black Cockatoos in time. The support of the local community will be important for closure of excessive informal tracks, prevention of vegetation cutting, and removal of garden encroachment. Actions recommended: 1. Install clear “no dogs” sign at access points. 2. Maintain Penguin fence. 3. Install more artificial burrows before any major weed removal. 4. Continue woody weed control, including Pines. 5. Control herbaceous and grassy weeds, especially Sea Wheat Grass and Sea Spurge. 6. Provide another formal access track in the mid-south of this area, and close informal tracks. 7. Revegetate gaps, especially after weed control. Revegetation should include a wide range of species, including Banksias, Correas and Boobialla. 8. Liaise with residents to remove garden from coastal reserve and revegetate.

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

5.1.2 Beach Rehabilitation Zone â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Doctors Rocks Beach This zone is important as an already thriving Penguin colony and the subject of Penguin tours, and because revegetation has the potential to further progress regeneration towards natural coastal scrub. This is true across this zone, but a particular focus could be the western slope of the headland (see figure 38 below), which is a major access route for Penguins but currently has little native vegetation and no previous revegetation. It is important to avoid Penguin burrows and any disturbance to Penguins during works. Most plantings should be of groundstorey plants and low shrubs to maintain beach views from the highway. Suitable plantings would be dominated by Saggs, Bower Spinach, Coast Saltbush and Correas, but should include other species as well. Including a sparse scattering of taller shrubs and small trees (such as Boobialla, Coast Beardheath, Coast Wattle, Banksia) would provide more diversity, and could be clumped (e.g. behind seating) to reduce Penguinsâ&#x20AC;&#x; views of people. Plantings on the western slope (which is visible from the highway but does not block views of the beach) could include more trees for diversity and naturalness. (Include the above-mentioned species, as well as Hopbush, Prickly Box, Sheoak and various Eucalypts, with Blackwood and Paperbark where there is sufficient moisture). Any revegetation that is done must include follow-up control of grass in and around plant guards (spring-summer), watering (summer) and maintenance of guards to ensure success. There is currently a lack of signage regarding dog control.

Figure 37. Penguins use the western slope of the headland above the beach. Revegetation of grassy areas would improve habitat and diversity.

Actions recommended: 1. Maintain Penguin fence. 2. Grassy weed control (especially of Cocksfoot) essential as site preparation before revegetation. Spot spray and plant into it. Control grass in and around guards afterwards. 3. Plant vigorous, Penguin-friendly (mostly low) natives throughout, following site preparation. 4. Revegetation of the western slope of the headland should be a particular focus, and could include some taller shrubs and trees, as well as low, Penguin-friendly plants. 5. Plant some clumps of taller plants, e.g. behind seating. 6. Take care to avoid disturbing Penguins and burrows during any works. 7. Install dog control signage at access. 8. Construct boardwalk and revegetate around it with Penguin-friendly plants. 9. Ensure any Penguin viewing is conducted according to guidelines (see section 4.9). Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 46

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Figure 38. Revegetation Zones Map This map shows major revegetation and rehabilitation zones. Note that this map does not show the small areas requiring revegetation near the township, including gaps in the coastal scrub, such as where vegetation has been cut, informal access tracks (after closure) and where weeds have been removed. It also does not show the revegetation sites at narrow banks where the railway line is threatened by erosion.

Headland rehabilitation zone - Summit - focussed habitat plantings, strategic weed control

Beach Rehabilitation Zone (BRZ) - low native plantings, some taller clumps

BRZ Western slope of headland

- coastal scrub plantings for Penguins, plus taller trees

FRZ Alongside path

- Plantings for erosion prevention and amenity

FRZ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Quarry, western side (rocky) - blackberry & broom control, then staged plantings

Focussed Revegetation Zone (FRZ) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Quarry, eastern side (grassy) - coastal scrub plantings for Penguins

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 47

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

5.1.3 Focussed Revegetation Zone – Doctors Rocks Quarry Revegetation here would provide a major improvement to this site, and should be very rewarding in time for volunteers. Cradle Coast NRM plans to make this site a focus of community plantings. There are some Penguins here, nesting amongst the weeds and grasses. Hence, weed control and revegetation must account for their habitat requirements and ensure that works are carried out during the period of the year when the birds are less sensitive to disturbances (May-July). Revegetation is recommended in the quarry and alongside the path, together with staged weed control and installation of artificial burrows, to provide:  more Penguin habitat,  enhanced native biodiversity,  erosion control (along the path edge), and  improved aesthetics. There is little soil on a rocky substrate in this area, so revegetation may be difficult. Hardy species must be used, and planted where there is sufficient soil. Drainage may be variable, so place plants appropriately (e.g. Coast Wattle on well-drained sites, Paperbark on poorly-drained ones). Postplanting maintenance (including watering in summer, and weed control around and inside guards) will be essential for success. In order to establish native vegetation at this site, determined weed control is necessary first. These weeds provide Penguin habitat, so weed control should be staged, with artificial burrows provided beforehand and native revegetation conducted as soon as practicable after weed control to replace weedy habitat. Work in stages, starting with areas where there are no or fewest Penguins, and ensure that Penguins are accommodated in artificial burrows or in successfully revegetated areas before removing subsequent areas of weeds. The recommended stages are shown in Figure 38 above. Eastern (coastal) side of quarry This side should be revegetated first, as it is mostly grassy and likely to be more quickly successful, so will provide more Penguin habitat to compensate for weed removal elsewhere. Spot-spraying of pasture grasses and Blackberries should be done prior to revegetation, but avoid spraying of Penguin burrows. Mirrorbushes can be cut-and-painted and left in situ, with Bower Spinach and Coast Saltbush planted to grow over them. Figure 39. First plantings should be into the grassy eastern area, while control of blackberries goes on in the rest of the quarry.

Suitable species to plant here include Coast Saltbush, Bower Spinach, Sagg, Silver Tussock, Boobialla, Correas, Coast Beardheath and Coast Wattle, as well as a range of other species in lower numbers. The central part of this site is open, probably due to the lack of soil, and this can be retained as an open area and path, with just Native Pigface to provide amenity.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 48

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Western side of quarry Foliar spray of Blackberries and Broom will probably be the most effective method of weed control, and less disturbing to Penguins than the cut-and-paint method would be here as it would allow dying weeds to remain as some cover. Spray will need to be carefully timed, as the least disturbing time for Penguins is May to July, but herbicide should be applied to the weeds before they become dormant (i.e. not in winter). Late autumn is likely to be the best time. Repeated spray of weed regrowth will be necessary. This can be done annually across the whole site, as staged revegetation proceeds. Figure 40. The middle part of the quarry is densely weedy, which will require repeated herbicide treatment before final revegetation plantings.

Revegetation should be done in stages; starting where there are no or fewest Penguins (consult Perviz Marker, and complete a site assessment first). For example, the first sections could be the entrance area and the far side of the quarry. The middle and largest area of weeds should be done last, as this is likely to require most repeat sprays to kill the weeds successfully, and as a dense area is most likely to be favoured by Penguins. Plantings should be placed where access can be gained amongst the dead weeds, or with prior brushcutting to form access. This should only be done May-July with a prior check to ensure no Penguins are present. Place artificial burrows before removing weeds where there are Penguins. Plantings here may require a different range of species due to the rockiness; probably Sheoak, Hopbush, Prickly Box, Sagg, Knobby Clubsedge, and Silver Tussock. Coastal scrub species may also survive, including Bower Spinach, Coast Saltbush and Coast Wattle. If there is sufficient soil in places, some Strinbybark, Blue Gum and White Gum could be planted. Where it is moister, plant Blackwood and Paperbark. Smaller numbers of other species, such as Banksia and Flaxlilies, can also be tried. Alongside path Coastal scrub species can be planted sparsely between the path and the coastal edge, where possible, to help prevent further erosion, to provide Penguin habitat and to improve amenity. After weed control, native species can also be planted along the base of the cliff. Ensure there remains room for the path and for people to access the coast for fishing and goldpanning. Figure 41. Plantings must leave room for the path.

Suitable species include Boobialla, Correas, Coast Saltbush, Bower Spinach, Sagg, Knobby Clubsedge, Forest Flaxlily and Silver Tussock. Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 49

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Actions recommended: 1. Check for Penguins before all actions are undertaken, and conduct actions May-July. 2. Spot-spray grassy eastern side of quarry and sides of path. 3. Cut-and-paint isolated Mirrorbush and Boxthorns. 4. Spray Blackberries and Broom throughout quarry in late autumn, and repeat annually. 5. Plant grassy eastern side of quarry and of path (esp. Boobialla, Coast Wattle, Coast Saltbush, Bower Spinach, Correa, Sagg). 6. Install artificial burrows before brushcutting weedy areas to make access for planting. 7. Plant entrance area on western side of quarry 8. Trial a range of various species in this rocky western side of the quarry, such as Sagg, Hopbush, Prickly Box, Coast Wattle, Coast Saltbush, Bower Spinach, Sheoak, Black Gum, Blackwood, and Paperbarks in damp sites. 9. Plant far end of western side of quarry and western side of path. 10. Plant middle part of quarry, once weeds are sufficiently controlled. 11. Place seating and table in central open area. More Native Pigface could be planted here.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 50

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

5.1.4 Headland Rehabilitation Zone â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Doctors Rocks Summit Doctors Rocks is especially valuable as an elevated site offering future habitat as sea level rise takes effect, and it is already very important for Penguins as well as for Bandicoots and Seaeagles. It has habitat values that should be maintained, and enhanced as resources become available. However, this zone has not been rated as high a priority as other sites, due to the difficulty of work required. Some early planting of eucalypts and other trees and shrubs in suitable patches would provide improved habitat for Sea-eagles and other fauna in future. Figure 42. A single Pine remains. Dense Broom and pasture grasses will be difficult to control.

Weed control should focus on better native vegetation patches, with follow-up control and revegetation where necessary. It should also focus on any isolated weeds or new infestations. Broader weed control of the rest of the summit should only be attempted when resources are available with a commitment to long-term follow-up. If biological control of Broom is underway here, then any chemical weed control should only be done in consultation with the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research (TIAR). Safety for workers and volunteers is an essential consideration here, due to the cliffs, slippery rocks and deep cracks. Figure 43. Native Pigface and rocks on the summit. Bandicoots dig in the open grassy areas.

Actions recommended: 1. Plant more eucalypts and some other native trees and shrubs in suitable patches of good soil. 2. Control remaining Pine soon (probably best accessed from below), and any future pine seedlings. 3. Control sparse weeds in existing native vegetation patches. 4. Protect Penguin habitat during any works. 5. Consider other fauna, including Bandicoots (which need some open grassy areas) and Seaeagles (which need perching trees). 6. Contain Broom and Blackberry from further spread â&#x20AC;&#x201C; continue to control sparse weeds spreading into native vegetation. 7. Control Broom and Blackberry in highly infested areas only when resources allow ongoing follow-up and revegetation.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 51

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

6 Strategic Priorities There are many actions described above to improve the condition of the coastal reserve and Penguin habitat. For greatest overall effectiveness and to address the most immediate issues, efforts should initially be focussed on the following priorities: 1. Install clear “no dogs” signs at all formal access points. 2. Repair and upgrade the Penguin protection fence, including improving the gate at Doctors Rocks. 3. Maintain existing revegetation across the site (e.g. address fallen guards, control weeds around plantings, water during summer). 4. Focussed revegetation at Doctors Rocks Beach, on the western slope of the headland, including a taller clump behind the seating. 5. Focussed revegetation at Doctors Rocks Quarry, on the eastern (grassy) side and alongside path. 6. Control Sea Wheatgrass patch, and target isolated weeds (Broom, Boxthorn, Mirrorbush, Radiata Pine, Cotoneaster, Sydney Coast Wattle and Introduced Paperbarks) remaining across the site. 7. Install artificial nest burrows in areas where weed control will occur. 8. Begin control of Blackberry and Broom at Doctors Rocks Quarry. 9. Planting of eucalypts and other trees and shrubs in suitable patches on Doctors Rocks summit to provide improved habitat for Sea-eagles and other fauna in future. 10. Provide a formal beach access at mid-south of township and close informal accesses. 11. Involve the community by – Cradle Coast NRM and Waratah-Wynyard Council continuing to support community groups in management of the coastal reserve, – initiating a local coastcare group if possible, – conducting community events, etc.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 52

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

7 References Bryant, S. L. and Jackson, J. (1999), Tasmania’s Threatened Fauna Handbook. Threatened Species Unit, Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart. Bryant, S.L. (2002), Conservation assessment of beach nesting and migratory shorebirds in Tasmania. Natural Heritage Trust Project No NWP 11990. Nature Conservation Branch, Department Primary Industries Water and Environment Buchanan, A.M. (2009), A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania, Tasmanian Herbarium website, www.tmag.tas.gov.au/Herbarium/TasVascPlants.pdf Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management Committee (2008), Coastal Weed Strategy for the Cradle Coast NRM Region. Cradle Coast Authority, Burnie. DPIW (2005), Threatened Native Vegetation Communities List (Version 6.0). Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart, November 2005. Greening Australia (Tasmania) and the Cradle Coast Regional Weed Management Steering Committee, (2005) Cradle Coast Regional Weed Management Strategy. Greening Australia (Tasmania) and the Cradle Coast Regional Weed Management Steering Committee, Burnie. Guidelines for the Listing of Species under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/LBUN-59X7G2?open Harris, S and Kitchener, A (2005), From Forest to Fjaeldmark: Descriptions of Tasmania’s Vegetation. Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Printing Authority of Tasmania. Hobart. Kirkpatrick, J.B. and Gilfedder, L.A. (1999), Tasmanian Bushcare Toolkit. Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Hobart. Lawrence, N. (2004), Nature Conservation Branch Brief for Consultants. Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Hobart. Lee, D., (2003), A Guide to Rehabilitation of Little Penguin Habitat. Wildlife Marine Conservation Section, Biodiversity Conservation Branch DPIW, Hobart. Marker P. and Wind A., (2003, revised 2008), Guidelines for Works in Areas of Little Penguin Habitat. Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment, Tasmania Muyt, A., (2001) Bush Invaders of South East Australia: a guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South East Australia. R.G and F.J. Richardson PO Box 42 Meredith, Victoria 3333 Australia Natural Values Atlas, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Hobart. www.naturalvaluesatlas.dpiw.tas.gov.au Pemberton D., Pryor H. and Halley V. (2001), Tasmania’s Offshore Islands: seabirds and other natural features, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart Rudman T. 2003. Tasmanian Beach Weed Strategy for marram grass, Sea Spurge, sea wheatgrass, pypgrass & beach daisy. Nature Conservation Report 03/2, Nature Conservation Branch, Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tasmania Sharples, C., 2006: Indicative Mapping of Tasmanian Coastal Vulnerability to Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise: Explanatory Report (Second Edition); Consultant Report to Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 53

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Department of Primary Industries & Water, Tasmania, 173 pp., plus accompanying electronic (GIS) maps. Stevenson, C., and Woehler, E. (2007), Population decreases in Little Penguins Eudyptula minor in southeastern Tasmania, Australia, over the past 45 years. Marine Ornithology 35: 61-66. The Advocate, Tuesday 20th January 2009, p7, Penguin protection patrols turn high-tech. Thorp, V. (2003), Community Coastcare Handbook â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Caring for the Coast in Tasmania. Coastcare Tasmania Watts D. (1999), Field Guide to Tasmanian Birds. New Holland Publishers, Sydney

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 54

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

8 Appendices Appendix 1. Native plants of Doctors Rocks. th Survey conducted by Bushways, 4 August 2010. Major vascular plants only surveyed. Family Species name Broad-leaved plants (DICOTYLEDONAE) Carpobrotus rossii AIZOACEAE Tetragonia implexicoma Daucus glochidiatus APIACEAE Senecio linearifolius ASTERACEAE




Senecio pinnatifolius Sambucus gaudichaudiana Stellaria pungens Rhagodia candolleana Sarcocornia quinqueflora Sclerostegia arbuscula Suaeda australis Hibbertia sericea Leucopogon parviflorus Phyllanthus gunnii Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae Myoporum insulare Eucalyptus globulus Eucalyptus obliqua Eucalyptus ovata Melaleuca ericifolia Bursaria spinosa Banksia marginata Acaena novae-zelandiae Rubus parvifolius Correa alba Solanum laciniatum

Common name native pigface bower spinach australian carrot common fireweed groundsel dune groundsel white elderberry prickly starwort coastal saltbush beaded glasswort shrubby glasswort southern seablite silky guineaflower coast beardheath shrubby spurge coast wattle common boobialla tasmanian blue gum stringybark black gum coast paperbark prickly box silver banksia common buzzy Native raspberry white correa kangaroo apple

Narrow â&#x20AC;&#x201C;leaved plants (MONOCOTYLEDONAE) Ficinia nodosa CYPERACEAE Lepidosperma gladiatum Juncus kraussii JUNCACEAE Dianella revoluta LILIACEAE Austrostipa stipoides POACEAE Distichlis distichophylla Phragmites australis Poa labillardierei Spinifex sericeus XANTHORRHOEACEAE Lomandra longifolia

knobby clubsedge coast swordsedge sea rush spreading flaxlily coast speargrass Australian saltgrass southern reed silver tussockgrass beach spinifex sagg



Pteridium esculentum


Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 55

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 2. Weeds found at Doctors Rocks. Approximate locations of most weeds here are shown on zone maps, allowing for clarity of the maps. Some weeds are very widespread, while others have a single location. Notes on poisonous species are provided where known, but do not assume that others are safe. Further information should be sought. WONS = Weed of National Significance. Family Trees PINACEAE MIMOSACEAE RUBIACEAE Shrubs ASTERACEAE FABACEAE MALVACEAE ROSACEAE SOLANACEAE Groundcovers AIZOACEAE APIACEAE APOCYNACEAE ASTERACEAE





Species name

Common name

Pinus radiata Acacia longifolia subsp. longifolia Coprosma repens

radiata pine Sydney coast wattle

Chrysanthemoides monilifera Cytisus scoparius Genista monspessulana Malva sp. Cotoneaster sp. Rubus fruticosus Lycium ferocissimum


Carpobrotus aequilaterus/edulis Foeniculum vulgare Vinca major Arctotheca calendula Hypochoeris radicata Osteospermum fruticosum Senecio elegans Borago officinalis Myosotis sylvatica Cakile maritima Rapistrum sp. (R. rugosum?) Aeonium arboreum Euphorbia paralias Euphorbia peplus Trifolium sp. Fumaria muralis Oxalis pes-caprae Reseda lutea? Zantedeschia aethiopica Allium triquetrum ? Agapanthus praecox Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora or Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera Ammophila arenaria Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum Dactylis glomerata Holcus lanatus Lagurus ovatus Poa annua Thinopyrum junceiforme

angled/yellow pigface



English broom canary broom mallow cotoneaster blackberry african boxthorn



fennel blue periwinkle capeweed rough catsear trailing daisy purple groundsel borage garden forgetmenot searocket turnipweed aeonium Sea Spurge petty spurge clover wall fumitory soursob cutleaf mignonette arum lily triangular garlic unknown lily with red fruit agapanthus Montbretia or watsonia?




marram grass bulbous oatgrass cocksfoot yorkshire fog harestail grass winter grass sea wheatgrass

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 56

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 3. Some native species that resemble weeds It is important to be sure of the identification of a plant before removing it as a weed. Below is a selection of native species that are sometimes mistaken for weeds. The Tasmanian Herbarium can assist with plant identification. Plants known to be on site are in bold. WEED Angled Pigface (Carpobrotus aequilaterus) - is bigger in all parts (leaves 4-10cm) - pink/purple flowers - stamens usually >250 Yellow Pigface (C.edulis) - is bigger in all parts (leaves 4-10cm) - yellow (to pinkish) flowers - stamens >400 African Box-thorn (Lycium ferocissimum) - spines robust, very sharp - red berries Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.) - ripe fruits are black - large leaves and large spines. Canary/Montpellier Broom (Genista monspessulana) - ridged, hairy stems - trifoliate leaves English/Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) and White Broom (Cytisus multiflorus) - usually very few leaves. Sydney Coast Wattle (Acacia longifolia ssp. longifolia) Often sold as a “native” in nurseries, can become invasive. - Phyllodes (“leaves”) longer (80-200mm) and pointer. - Pod straight when mature. Marram Grass (Ammophila arenaria) - has underground, long, smooth rhizomes - very long, pointed ligule (membrane where leaf comes away from stem)

NATIVE PLANT Native Pigface (Carpobrotus rossii) - leaves 4-6cm. - pink/purple flowers - stamens 100-250

Sea Wheat Grass (Thinopyrum junceiforme) - greyish green leaves - strong underground rhizomes - flower spike on fragile stalk, breaks readily Twitch, couch, buffalo grass and other creeping lawn grasses.

Sow thistle (Sonchus asper) - annual, with taproot - sticky white sap (can irritate skin & eyes)

Prickly Box (Bursaria spinosa) - spines delicate and thin, very sharp - flat brown capsules Native Raspberry (Rubus parvifolius) - ripe fruits are red - slightly smaller, softer leaves and spines. Goldentip (Goodia lotifolia) and other bushpeas - not currently any on site. - leaves and flowers similar to broom. e.g. Drupe Bush (Leptomeria drupacea) and Broom Spurge (Amperea xiphoclada) - not currently any on site. Coast Wattle / False Boobialla (Acacia longifolia ssp. sophorae) - Phyllodes (“leaves”) shorter (50-100mm) and rounder. - Pod twisted when mature Most wattles here are the native one. Coast Fescue (Austrofestuca littoralis), Coast Speargrass (Austrostipa stipoides), Coast Tussockgrass (Poa poiformis), Silver Tussockgrass (Poa labillardierei), Spinifex (Spinifex sericeus) - most are tussocks, Spinifex has creeping stems. Coast Fescue has a scaly, short, branching rhizome. Some have small ligules. Obtain advice. Coastal Spinifex (Spinifex sericeus) - greyish green leaves, silky hairy - long creeping stems above ground - male flowers in clusters, female clusters almost spherical “tumbleweeds” Australian Saltgrass (Distichlis distichophylla) - fine leaves arranged tightly in opposite rows Dune Thistle (Actites megalocarpa, was Sonchus megalocarpus) - perennial with stolons Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania


Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 4. Threatened fauna known or possible on site Species that have been recorded within 5 km of the site (*) or are possible under habitat mapping (Natural Values Atlas, August 2010). Species recorded within 500m (NVA) or known on site are in bold. Habitat comments are based on those by Bryant and Jackson (1999). Common name

Grey Goshawk *Wedge-tailed Eagle

Scientific name

Accipiter novaehollandiae Aquila audax fleayi

Tas. status TSPA 1995

Cwth status EPBC 1999

e e


*Giant Freshwater Crayfish

Astacopsis gouldi


Hydrobiid snail (Table Cape)

Beddomeia capensis


Azure kingfisher

Ceyx azurea


*Spotted-tailed Quoll

Dasyurus maculatus subsp. Maculatus



Engaeus yabbimunna



Galaxiella pusilla



White-bellied Seaeagle

Haliaeetus leucogaster


*Swift Parrot

Lathamus discolor



*Orange-bellied Parrot

Neophema chrysogaster



*Eastern Barred Bandicoot

Perameles gunnii

Australian Grayling

Prototroctes maraena



*Tasmanian Devil

Sarcophilus harrisii



Masked Owl (Tasmanian)

Tyto novaehollandiae castanops


*Burrowing Crayfish (Burnie) Eastern Dwarf Galaxias



No suitable riparian forest on site or nearby. No nesting habitat here or nearby. Known from seepages and streambanks of Seabrook Creek and its catchment, but this site is not suitable. Most hydrobiid snails occupy streams thickly bordered by native vegetation. No suitable habitat on site. No suitable habitat (tree-lined waterways). Very limited habitat here, with no forest and little nearby. Known from a tributary of Seabrook Creek, but not likely on this site. Potential habitat in Seabrook Creek, but no freshwater on site. Known to rest on trees on Doctors Rocks (M.Rose, pers.com.), though no nest present. Likely to forage along coastline here. May occasionally feed on few Blue Gum and Black Gum trees here, but no suitable nesting habitat. Single, undated record. May forage during migration on saltmarsh plants or coastal scrub and grasses here. Several records along the Bass Hwy near Doctors Rock Point. Suitable habitat available in Reserve. Leave grassy areas adjacent to dense vegetation for habitat and watch for distinctive conical diggings. Potential habitat in Seabrook Creek and sea. Wide-ranging species, possible here, though habitat very limited. No suitable trees or tree hollows on site.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 58

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 5. Plants suitable for revegetation Plants in bold are those which should form the bulk of any planting, due to their high suitability for coastal conditions, Penguin habitat and erosion control. Other plants are important for diversity. Species name SHRUBS

Common name


Rhagodia candolleana

Coastal Saltbush

Excellent Penguin habitat understorey plant.

Tetragonia implexicoma

Bower Spinach (ice plant)

Excellent Penguin habitat understorey plant.

Correa alba

White Correa

Correa backhouseana

Velvet Correa

Dodonaea viscosa


Leucopogon parviflorus

Coast Beardheath

Hardy shrub once established. Excellent Penguin habitat. Hardy shrub once established. Excellent Penguin habitat. Hardy shrub, best on rocky sites and hind-dunes. Hardy once established and provides abundant fruits for birds and people. Worth persisting with â&#x20AC;&#x201C; monitor planting success to learn its preferred sites.

LARGER SHRUBS AND TREES Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae

Coast Wattle

Myoporum insulare

Common Boobialla

Eucalyptus ovata

Black Gum

Eucalyptus globulus

Blue Gum

Excellent shelter. Uncertain Penguin habitat but an essential component of coastal vegetation and especially useful in harsh, sandy, dry sites. Excellent Penguin habitat, but should not be planted everywhere to the exclusion of understorey plants. Not as quick as Coast Wattle. Excellent habitat tree for headland and possibly quarry, especially poorly-drained sites and heavier soils (deeper soils only). Excellent habitat tree for headland (deeper soils only).

Eucalyptus obliqua


Excellent habitat tree for headland (deeper soils only).

Melaleuca ericifolia

Coast Paperbark

Suitable for all damper sites and creekbanks.

Acacia melanoxylon


Allocasuarina verticillata


Banksia marginata

Banksia / honeysuckle

Bursaria spinosa

Prickly box

Moist hind-dune sites only. Hardy small tree, most suitable for more inland areas. Does not provide Penguin habitat, but is an important near-coastal tree. Hardy small tree, most suitable for hind-dune areas. Habitat for many birds (but not Penguins); is an important nearcoastal tree. Hardy small tree, most suitable for hind-dune areas and rocky sites. Does not provide Penguin habitat, but is an important near-coastal tree.

GROUNDCOVERS Carpobrotus rossii

Native Pigface

Lomandra longifolia


Poa labillardierei

Silver tussockgrass

Dianella revoluta

flax lily

Dianella tasmanica

Forest flax lily

Ficinia nodosa

knobby clubsedge coast speargrass and coast tussockgrass

Austrostipa stipoides and Poa poiformis Spinifex sericeus

Beach Spinifex

Dune plant, excellent ground cover. Be sure to propagate Native Pigface, not the larger weedy Pigfaces. Hardy tussock, probably best on heavier soils. Excellent Penguin habitat. Suitable for damper hind-dune areas or swales. Hind-dune plant or heavier soils, excellent ground cover. Good Penguin habitat. Excellent groundcover in moister sites. Hardy almost anywhere, especially swales between dunes. Fore-dune plants, excellent ground covers. If available, use to replace foredune weeds An important trailing grass of the front of the dune, present in low numbers on site. Not easily propagated; if available it should be planted on foredune.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 59

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 6. Weed control recommendations (Rudman 2003; Tasmanian Bushcare Toolkit 2006; Marker and Wind 2003; Muyt 2001) Herbicides include non-selective Glyphosate (e.g. Roundup®, Weedmaster®, etc) and broadleaf-specific Metsulfuron Methyl (e.g. Brush Off®, Brush Killer® etc). Some herbicides come already mixed with a wetting agent (surfactant); others may need a wetter to be added so that the herbicide is absorbed by the plant. Marker dyes can also be useful. Targeted control methods such as cut-and-paint are preferable to foliar spraying which may affect Penguins. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL BEFORE USING HERBICIDES AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS. ALWAYS FOLLOW BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES. Weed Treatment alternatives Follow-up Radiata pine Cut below lowest branch. Monitor and remove any seedlings from coastal vegetation. Canary Broom

Hand pull / dig out small seedlings.

English Broom

Cut-and-paint larger plants (with Glyphosate).

Follow-up control of seedlings will be necessary for many years.

Bag and dispose of any seeds responsibly off site. ®

If necessary, clumps may be sprayed with selective herbicide such as Brush Off , avoiding off-target damage to any native shrubs. Boxthorn

Cut-and-paint with herbicide, or drill-and-fill larger plants.


Large plants providing Penguin habitat should be left to die in-situ.


Any regrowth of mature plants after treatment will need follow-up control. For best results spray with selective herbicide (Brush Off®) before the regrowth turns woody. Check every year and continue control until all are eradicated.

Seedlings can be hand-pulled or cut-and-painted.

Plant Bower Spinach to climb over dead Boxthorn or Mirrorbushes.

Cut-and-paint (with glyphosate). Leave to die standing where they are providing habitat and wind protection etc.

Continue to follow-up where needed every year.

Foliar spraying: Metsulfuron Methyl is an effective herbicide to use for blackberry growing within grasses (which will not be affected by this broadleaf herbicide). Take every care to use away from any wet area and do not risk any run off or spray drift into water or onto native plants. Boneseed

Smaller plants can be easily hand pulled.


Cut and paint any larger plants with Glyphosate. Bag and dispose of any fruiting bodies.

Continued over page…

Follow-up hand pulling of new seedlings will be necessary. Birds carry seeds long distances, so new plants are always introduced.

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 7 (continued). Weed control recommendations Weed

Treatment alternatives

Follow up


Pull out small plants, or cut-and-paint with glyphosate.

Check for seedlings and re-growth every year and control.

Sydney Coast-wattle (Acacia longifolia subsp. longifolia)

Cut-and-paint with herbicide.

Check for seedlings and re-growth every year and control.

Angled and Yellow Pigface

Not a high priority to remove these slowly invasive species, but aim to gradually remove the weedy pigfaces and ensure that remaining pigfaces are native.

NB careful identification will be necessary to distinguish this species from the native coastal wattle (Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae).

Dig up any new plants, if smothering Penguin areas, or if revegetating with natives.

Ensure revegetation is only done with Native Pigface. Take care with identification.

Blue Periwinkle

Seedlings can be hand-pulled or dug-out, ensuring all roots are removed to prevent regrowth. Larger plants should be sprayed with non-selective herbicide (i.e. glyphosate) in autumn. Surfactant may be necessary in herbicide.

Well established infestations will require treatments over 2 - 4 years before all material is destroyed.

Trailing Daisy

Dig up and remove.

Continue every year until eradicated.

Or spray with herbicide. Agapanthus Arum Lily Montbretia, other lilies Sea Spurge Petty Spurge

Dig up if possible and remove, ensuring all corms / rhizomes are removed. Alternatively, spray or wipe with herbicide (wetting agent will be necessary). Bag and remove corms/rhizomes and seeds.

Control any regrowth.

NB Agapanthus and Arum Lily parts and sap are poisonous and a skin irritant. Protective clothing (e.g. gloves) must be worn to protect skin and eyes from the milky sap, which is toxic. Do not allow sap to enter eyes. Start with isolated clumps and eradicate in stages. Small Sea Spurge infestations can be eradicated by manually removing the plants. Small plants hand pull easily; large plants will need to be dug out. Seedlings may be present in large numbers. These can be left until large enough to pull, but before flowering, or they may be raked or buried. An effective herbicide treatment is available where disturbance from hand pulling is unacceptable. Consult PWS and DPIWE if contemplating herbicide use.

Pull out any plants that appear annually before they seed. Substantial declines in density of Sea Spurge can be achieved by this method but it may take 3 or 4 years of concerted effort. Occasional seedlings may reappear.

Continued over pageâ&#x20AC;Ś

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 61

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 7 (continued). Weed control recommendations Weed

Treatment alternatives

Follow up

Three cornered garlic (angled onion)

Spray with herbicide at bulb-exhaustion phase, i.e. just before or early in flowering period (mid-winter to early spring). Take care to avoid spraying native groundcovers.


Three cornered garlic can be pulled or dug carefully, ensuring all bulbs are removed. Never handpull soursob, as bulbils will be dislodged.

Control regrowth annually. Will require at least 2 - 5 years of followup.


Dig out small plants, making sure to get all crowns and roots. Cut-and-paint larger plants. Spray (best in winter. Use a marker dye as people may harvest fennel).

Sea Wheat Grass

Marram Grass

Pasture grasses, capeweed and other pasture weeds

Monitoring and follow up control will be essential for success. Establish vigorous groundcover such as Bower Spinach to cover bare ground.

Digging out the rhizomes can control small areas of sea wheatgrass. Care must be taken to remove as much as possible and monitor regularly for re-emerging plants. Effective aquatic registered herbicides are available for use on sea wheatgrass. Contact PWS or DPIPWE for advice. Do not control large areas. Control any small infestations in otherwise native areas. Dig out small area of rhizomes to a depth of 50 cm if possible before planting native plants into Marram grassland.

Monitor annually for germinating seedlings until no further plants are found for a few years running

Control these as necessary before revegetation with native species. Spot-spray with glyphosate an area of 1m diameter for each plant to be planted, or larger areas before mass revegetation. Do not attempt large-scale control without a revegetation and followup plan. Avoid creating bare areas which will be invaded by these weeds.

Spray around plant guards in spring until native revegetation has established. Handpull grass and weeds that grow inside plant guards.

Pull up any marram grass invading revegetation plant guards until native plant is well established.

Handpull or carefully spot-spray infestations in otherwise good native vegetation.

Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania 62

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan st 31 October 2010

Appendix 7. Some useful resources Some useful references include: Community Coastcare Handbook – caring for the coast in Tasmania, by Veronica Thorp (2003). Tasmanian Environment Centre, Hobart. (Excellent for all coastal management questions.) Growing Australian Native Plants from Seed - for revegetation, tree planting and direct seeding. By Murray Ralph, 1997. Published by Bushland Horticulture, ph (03) 9517 6773. Very useful, comprehensive but simple propagation info. Grow Local – a guide to local native plants suitable for gardens in the Cradle Coast Region (2nd edition), by the Australian Plants Society Tasmania North West Group (2009?). Tasmania’s Natural Flora, by J. Whiting et al, 2004. ($70 many bookshops, or PO Box194, Ulverstone, 7315). Identification of heaps of plants, and cultivation hints. Understorey Network database for propagation and seed collection info: www.understorey-network.org.au Cradle Coast NRM – for advice and assistance. Ph: 6431 6285.

Some useful weed references include: Various pamphlets, usually available from council or Natural Resource Management/Landcare organisations. E.g. Coastal Weeds of Tasmania. Environmental Weeds – A field guide for SE Australia. By Kate Blood, CRC Weed Management Systems, 2001. Publ. CH Jerram & Assoc., Mt Waverley. Bush Invaders of SE Australia. By Adam Muyt, 2001. Publ. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Meredith. (About $65, but worth it – includes control methods) DPIPWE Weeds site For comprehensive weed control information sheets, declared weeds etc: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/ThemeNodes/LBUN-5MC2R8?open Cradle Coast NRM Weeds Officer – ph: 6431 6285 Tamar Valley Weed Strategy - another excellent Tasmanian weed website http://www.weeds.asn.au

Profile for Cradle Coast Authority

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan  

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan  

Doctors Rocks Penguin Management Plan