Sand nourishment work at Pelican Island

Sand nourishment work to improve the habitat values for migratory birds and mitigate erosion on Pelican (Baxter) Island (south of Nungurner) and at Crescent Island (Bunga Arm) have now been completed.

Both Pelican and Crescent Islands had experienced a loss on beach areas over the past decade and the sand nourishment work will increase the habitable areas of the islands for pelican, black swan and fairy tern colonies.

The work was undertaken by Gippsland Ports on behalf of joint land managers, Parks Victoria and the Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC).

The Gippsland Lakes and its wetlands are recognised as a RAMSAR site of international significance and are an important destination for many threatened migratory birds such as little terns and fairy terns, as well as native Australian black swan and pelican.

DELWP Biodiversity Officer Faye Bedford said: “The sand placement at Crescent Island made possible by the dredging work along Steamer and Grange Channels is already paying dividends with recent sightings of a small flock of breeding plumage fairy tern on the eastern end of the island.”

“It is incredibly exciting to see not only an established pelican rookery on Crescent Island, but close to 20 breeding pairs of fairy tern with three birds incubating eggs in what is an early start to the breeding season,” Ms Bedford said.

The funding for this work is part of the “Love our Lakes” initiative which provided funding though the Gippsland Lakes Environment Fund to improve the habitat values for migratory birds and mitigate erosion at Crescent Island and Pelican Island.

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Above: View from the Grange Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park of sand nourishment works at Crescent Island.
Below: Representatives from the Nungurner Land Care Group, DELWP and Parks Victoria visiting Pelican Island (photo courtesy Sea Safari Eco Tours) – please acknowledge source of photo.

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