French Island Introduced Predator Management

Achieving biodiversity benefits in priority locations

French Island is home to rich and diverse native flora and fauna. This project will deliver strategic control of introduced predators to protect native fauna including threatened species- Bandicoot spp., Long-nosed Potoroo, Swamp Skink, Orange bellied Parrot, resident and migratory waders and shorebirds, Growling Grass Frog and Glossy Grass Skink.

This project will build on work delivered by Parks Victoria for feral cat eradication on French Island. To date, the project has achieved a significant population knock down, continually adapting control techniques to overcome challenges of various land tenure, minimising non-target risk and securing sufficient ongoing funding to maintain the intensive eradication level of control required on the island. The project is supported by long term community engagement that has achieved high levels of commitment to responsible pet ownership, including 100% of domestic cats voluntarily desexed.

Feral cat eradication is a priority for the region as the island is already fox-free, this will achieve a safe-haven for wildlife on this island that is home for numerous species that are threatened and/or of international significance. This would complement the recent achievement of Phillip Island becoming fox-free.

This project has utilised Strategic Management Prospects (SMP) modelling to consider latest science and cost-benefit effectiveness aiming to maximise and enhance biodiversity benefits of the project within the landscape. French Island National Park is a priority location for controlling pest predators under Protecting Victoria’s Environment- Biodiversity 2037 (Bio2037), with a cost-benefit ranking in the top 20% for actions (cat control) across the whole state.

This project has been identified as a high priority under the Western Port and South-East Melbourne Conservation Action Plan.

Left: French Island showing location of the National Park. Right: Priority locations for feral cat control on French Island (green top 20%).

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Native Animals
Other Themes:Communities
Primary Local Area:Bass Coast, South Gippsland & islands
Other Local Areas:Western Port
Project location:Priority locations in French Island National Park and working across private land in partnership with the French Island community
Scale of the project:Landscape
New or continuing work:Continuing/building on previous work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Parks Victoria
Key partners:Melbourne Water, Zoos Victoria, Australian Government, French Island Landcare, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)
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:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$$$ (Millions of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target:French Island National Park is 11,100 hectares has the ability to contribute to the RCS target for 40,000 hectares of sustained pest predator control. Eradication of cats on French Island is an RCS aim for the region.
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Undertake pest predator control to protect native animal species in priority areas
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Ramsar – Western Port Ramsar site – Ecological character maintained or improved

Priority species – Eastern Barred Bandicoot – Trajectory improved

More information

Western Port and South-east Melbourne Conservation Action Plan