First steps for Flannagan Island project

Flannagan Island, home to more wildlife than people, has just been delivered a boost for conservation works via the new round of funding from the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee.

The 77-hectare island off Lakes Entrance was the state’s first entire freehold island to be legally protected under a conservation covenant and one of only a few of Victoria’s privately owned islands.

Flanagan Island

Robyn Edwards Trust for Nature-Remnant Mahogonies Flannagan Island

The new two-year project will continue works undertaken in the previous funding round. The aim is to improve biodiversity and habitat for migratory and wading birds through habitat restoration activities. The project will be delivered by Trust for Nature in partnership with landholders, Birdlife Australia and Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.

Robyn Edwards, Trust for Nature’s Area Manager for Gippsland and colleagues recently travelled to the Island to undertake a site review and vegetation surveys to guide the weed control and revegetation rollout.

Robyn Edwards Trust for Nature-Weed and reveg assessment

“We hadn’t been back to the Island for nearly two years. The previous boxthorn control and good rains have resulted in the natural recruitment of plants from a seed bank in the soil. This resilience was on show with banksia and eucalypt seedlings and native pea.

Native recruiment-Golden Spray

“The island has no rabbits, foxes or deer and the owners have removed the Island’s resident goats. That’s the good thing about Islands, you can get rid of the browsing pressure and the natural vegetation has a chance to restore. We found one Tiger Orchid along with candlesticks and Parrot Peas – it is amazing what has held on.

“The combination of pest animal and plant removal has provided a good basis for restoration, yet there are still weeds emerging, so the funding has come just at the right time to maximise the opportunity to get rid of weeds.”

The program of habitat restoration will improve biodiversity and habitat for the migratory and wading birds that rely on the island and BirdLife Australia will carry out regular bird surveys.

Flannagan Island lake frontage



“There are seven kilometres of beachfront and the southern side is sheltered with seagrass beds. This year was a fantastic breeding season for the swans – they all had cygnets,”

Black Swan

This program is funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $248 million investment over four years (2020-2024) to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria with $7.5 million to support the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee and deliver onground works and community engagement.

Read more about this and other Gippsland Lakes programs:

Trust for Nature-site assessment-Flannagan island