King Island is a remarkable and unique bird habitat. Situated in the middle of Bass Strait, it is a biological melting pot of species from Tasmania and mainland Australia, and an important stopover for migratory birds. It has 10 of the 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species (6 of which are King Island subspecies), and is classified as a KBA (Key Biodiversity Area) for shorebirds. However, until now, long-term systematic monitoring of King Island bird populations has never been carried out.
The Wings on King project aims to fill this gap. This project has identified 80 important sites across the island at which bird surveys will now be conducted on a regular basis. For the most important sites, quarterly surveys are the aim, with all remaining sites monitored at least once a year. With this data, the project hopes to gain a full understanding of King Island bird populations, as well as to monitor the overall ecosystem of the island and finally, to highlight important areas for conservation and management.
The Wings on King initiative is volunteer-driven and actively encourages volunteers from outside the island to visit and take part. Visiting volunteers will be provided with survey training, materials and support, although they will need to arrange their own travel and accommodation.
Wings on King is a project of the King Island Natural Resource Management Group in affiliation with BirdLife Australia and the Birds of King Island group.