Community-led pest control around Western Port

Rabbit, fox and feral cat control to protect a Ramsar wetland

The Western Port Ramsar Site supports over 30 species that are international migrants and listed under migratory agreements with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Important habitats within the site include the extensive intertidal mudflats and saltmarsh where migratory waders feed.

Fox and feral cat predation on shorebirds is one the highest risks listed under priority threats in the Ramsar site management plan, with rabbits grazing salt marsh not far behind.

This long-term comprehensive rabbit, fox and feral cat control program will focus on Western Port wetlands on French Island, Phillip Island, Reef Island, and the eastern coastline of Western Port. This program will align and fill gaps in current agency programs, thereby greatly reducing two of the greatest threats to Western Port Ramsar values. Also, many CoastCare, Committees of management, and rate payers associations, some of which are already undertaking pest animal control, want to contribute to a broader program.

This program will focus on protecting threatened wading and migratory birds, as well as important shoreline and wetland plant communities. However, broader benefits of pest animal control in this region include the protection of all native flora and fauna.

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Wetlands
Other Themes:Native vegetation, Native animals
Primary Local Area:Bass Coast, South Gippsland & islands
Other Local Areas:Western Port
Project location:Phillip Island (northern coastlines), French Island, Reef Island and the eastern shoreline and adjacent bushland of Western Port
Scale of the project:Landscape
New or continuing work:Continuing/building on previous work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Bass Coast Landcare Network
Key partners:Corinella Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management, French Island Landcare Group, Tenby Point Ratepayer’s Association, Parks Victoria (San Remo office), Phillip Island Nature Parks, Rhyll Coast Action Group, Newhaven Coast Action, Silverleaves Conservation Society, Bass Coast Shire Council, Parks Victoria (Wonthaggi office), Melbourne Water, Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation, Coronet Bay Reserves Committee
Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation

Investment opportunities

Opportunities for investors within this project start from:$$ (Tens of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target:Ramsar wetlands – The ecological condition of the Western Port Ramsar wetland is maintained or improved from 2021 to 2050
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Undertake pest predator control to protect native animal species in priority areas
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Ramsar wetlands – Western Port

More information

Contact the Bass Coast Landcare Network’s Ecosystem Services Manager at