Frankland and North Barnard Island Group National Parks Pest Management Program

Issued: 31 May 2018

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science said recent media articles had spread misinformation regarding temporary closures of several north Queensland islands and the control of rats that prey on seabirds.

The fact is NO islands have been closed due to infestation. Some islands in the Frankland and North Barnard island groups have been temporarily closed for routine pest control. This is operational, and is not hindering visitor attraction. Commercial operations are still being conducted in these areas.

Our statement of 24 May 2018 is below:

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) will carry out a Pest Management Program in the Frankland and North Barnard Island Group National Parks for the control of black rats (Rattus rattus) between Monday 28 May 2018 and Friday 15 June 2018, weather permitting.

As part of the island conservation management program, the Northern Barnard Islands (Bresnahan, Hutchinson, Jessie, Kent and Lindquist islands) will be closed during this time.

The Frankland Islands (Normanby, Mabel, Round, Russell, East Russell) will also be closed, excluding High Island.

The Southern Barnard Islands (Sisters and Stephens islands) will remain open.

The control of black rats on these islands is a high priority will play a significant role in restoring restore valuable seabird nesting habitat in the area.

This is particularly important for seabird colonies in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

This pest management program will also help prevent further rat infestations to nearby islands that support large numbers of seabird breeding colonies.

In the past, black rat control programs carried out by QPWS on National Park Islands have successfully improved seabird nesting habitat and conditions.

A number of islands within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area are not only important for seabird breeding but support migratory bird species on their annual migration routes.