Hamilton Island’s Wildlife Management Policy 6 Sep Hamilton Island has a detailed “protected wildlife management strategy” that has been developed in close consultation with the Queensland Department of Environment and heritage protection (EHP). Hamilton Island abides by this policy at all times. The Island works closely with EHP, providing quarterly reports on operations undertaken in relation to the wildlife management policy. Representatives from EHP visit the island regularly to audit activity undertaken in relation to the “Damage Mitigation Permit” (DMP). Hamilton Island is a haven for many wildlife species, including birds, mammals and reptiles. This includes some introduced species such as “Agile Wallabies” and “Brush-tail Possums” which are not native to the island. While the ecosystem and environment can support populations of non-native species, left uncontrolled, they can rapidly multiply beyond levels sustainable for the island environment with its lack of predators and other population controls that occur naturally on the mainland. Damage includes erosion of the understory vegetation leading to sediment run-off into the reef precinct. Agile wallabies, in particular, are also a traffic hazard and an extreme hazard to aircraft utilizing the island’s runway. Hamilton Island also employ a number of deterrents to discourage birds and other wildlife from forming unnatural behaviour patterns. These include installing physical barriers around bins and the use of netting and other deterrents in high level roosting areas above restaurants. The staff are continually trained to ensure the immediate removal of food from tables, the prompt cleaning of open spaces and the coverage and protection of waste collection areas. We are pro-active in informing and educating guests about the dangers of feeding wildlife with food that is not part of their natural diet via both literature and signage. Sulphur crested cockatoos are resident on the island in significant numbers. Given their life span, some birds become used to human contact over time, scavenge for food and can become aggressive (this is called habituation). They have been known to scratch and bite and they have the potential to pass on diseases like giardia and psittacosis (beak and feather disease). Despite very comprehensive public education about not feeding birds with food that is not part of their natural diet, some birds become unhealthy, bald, distressed and unable to fly. Hamilton Island ensures that any culling of wildlife conducted as part of the management plan is done as a last resort when all other methods have been exhausted. It is done with the aim of ensuring sustainable populations of both native and introduced species. It is conducted as humanely and professionally as possible and is monitored by a consultant wildlife veterinarian employed specifically for the purpose. The wildlife management policy is just one part of the broader efforts of Hamilton Island Enterprises efforts to improve the island environment and the sustainability of the sensitive reef environment in which Hamilton Island is located. For media enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org Other enquiries please email email@example.com Statement provided by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Tuesday 6th September 2016 Hamilton Island DMP The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection recognises the need for ongoing management of some native wildlife species on the island to prevent unacceptable levels of damage or loss to property, and also for safety reasons at the airport and in the resort itself. EHP has been working with operators on Hamilton Island for more than 10 years regarding the use of non-lethal and lethal measures that may be used to manage the damaging impacts of native wildlife on the island. Damage Mitigation Permits (DMPs) have been issued by EHP following consideration of the protected wildlife management strategies developed by the leaseholder which set out the detrimental impact these animals are having on the island and measures proposed for their control. Any culling of animals under the DMP must be carried out quickly and humanely. The permit requires that culling of agile wallabies complies with a nationally adopted code of practice for the humane control of macropods. EHP monitors the activities of permit holders to ensure they meet the conditions of permits and other requirements of the Nature Conservation Act 1992. DMPs require the permit holder to submit a return to EHP quarterly, on the control measures carried out under the DMP, including information about the numbers of each type of animal culled under the conditions of the permit. EHP also conducts regular compliance inspections of the island. The most recent of these was in February 2016. DMPs are in place at several resorts and tourism facilities in Queensland. Any landholder can apply to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for a DMP to manage wildlife in accordance with the provisions of the Nature Conservation Act 1992.