By The Coast
Kangaroo Island is bordered by many beautiful beaches, some of which you are sure to visit during your time on the Island. These beaches are home to wildlife species such as Little Penguins, Australian Sea-lions and beautiful beach birds such as the Hooded Plover. You can make the most of your beach experience without disturbing the natural environment by following these simple principles:
Walk rather than drive on to the beach. Emu Bay is the only beach where vehicles are permitted onto the sand unless you are using a boat ramp to launch a boat. Keep dogs controlled or on a leash at all times. This will help protect beach birds such as Hooded Plovers - their nests, eggs and young - and Little Penguins.
When viewing penguins, move slowly and speak softly so as not to frighten them. If watching penguins at night, do not shine light directly in their eyes. You could join a guided tour in Kingscote or Penneshaw, where the guides will use filtered light to spot them and provide interesting facts about these night critters.
Birds of prey such as White-Bellied Sea-eagles and Ospreys are prone to disturbance in spring and summer when nesting - if you see one or two birds circling and calling please leave the area immediately to minimise risk to their young.
One-third of the Island is protected in national and conservation parks and Wilderness Protection Areas. You can help to conserve this beautiful wilderness and its inhabitants for the future, by following these simple principles:
Save yourself the trouble of having to navigate and follow the designated walking trails provided. Help prevent the spread of the Phytophthora fungus, clean your shoes or boots free of any soil after walking.
Many of the trails have cleaning stations for your use. Admire the beautiful species of wildflowers and plants, leaving them there for others to enjoy and so they can continue to grow and reproduce. Stick to designated camping sites and be aware of fire restrictions.
Leave your pets at home - they are prohibited in all protected areas. Take your rubbish when you leave and dispose of it in an appropriate facility to help keep the bush clean and healthy.
Along The Way
Travelling from one place to the next is sure to become one of the highlights of your stay. Wildlife are frequent users of the roads and you can often delight in the experience of seeing a Heath Goanna sunning itself to keep warm, a Koala sampling the roadside eucalyptus or an echidna or kangaroo making their way home. Keep yourself and the animals safe by following these few tips:
Allow plenty of time to get to your next destination and plan your day to avoid driving at night. Expect to see wildlife on or by the road, particularly at dusk and during the night. If you spot something of interest along the way, safely pull right off to the side of the road and observe from a distance.
Keep the local wildlife wild. They are quite happy to feed themselves because they know what is good for them. Don't be tempted to feed them human food, as this is bad for their health.
Most importantly remember when observing wildlife Observation not interaction - keep your distance - use binoculars for that close-up view - be especially quiet.
Help Protect Kangaroo Island's Industries
Kangaroo Island's remoteness has created an environment that is very special. Many of Australia's pests and diseases are not found on the Island. Please help to keep it that way. The Island depends on primary industries and nature-based tourism as a major part of the economy.
The introduction of just one new pest or disease could have devastating consequences. Your attention is drawn to legislation forbidding or restricting the importation of some items to Kangaroo Island. Significant penalties apply for infringements.
Honey products and bee-handling equipment are not to be brought onto the Island. Potatoes brought to the Island must be in new packaging. Peels and unused potatoes must be disposed of to ensure that regermination is not possible.
Vine cuttings and soil in which grapevines have grown are not to be brought onto the Island without prior inspection and approval.
Foxes and rabbits are prohibited under state legislation. Help Kangaroo Island protect its natural and unique environment by ensuring these pests are not introduced.
The risk of invasive weed introduction can be reduced by ensuring that vehicles, caravans, trailers, camping gear, hiking boots etc are free of mud and weed seeds prior to traveling.
Aquatic pests are a major threat to this environment. You can help protect the waters by cleaning your boats and gear prior to coming to the Island. Particular attention should be paid to boat surfaces (hull, propeller, rudder, anchor etc) and gear (including nets, wetsuits, life jackets, fishing tackle etc).
For further information, contact Primary Industries and Resources SA on (08) 8553 4949.
TOMM - Sustainable Tourism
Kangaroo Island has developed an innovative model to monitor the impact of tourism and ensure it is sustainable in the long term. The Tourism Optimisation Management Model (TOMM) is a community-initiated monitoring program responsible for monitoring the long-term health of Kangaroo Island as a sustainable tourism destination.
TOMM is more than just a project: it is a committed partnership between core agencies responsible for managing Kangaroo Island's resources. Key stakeholders include Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Board, Kangaroo Island Council, Tourism Kangaroo Island, Department for Environment and Heritage, Kangaroo Island Development Board, South Australian Tourism Commission, the Island's tourism businesses and wider community.
TOMM is about ensuring tourism develops in a way that is best for the Island and its residents. It recognises that tourism can destroy the very reason residents love living here and why tourists visit.
It involves monitoring the environmental, social, experiential and economic effects (both positive and negative) that tourism has on Kangaroo Island - not what Kangaroo Island thinks might be happening. This monitoring leads to sound decision-making based on relevant information and knowledge.
You can help and have your say by completing a Visitor Exit Survey on your departure. Survey forms are available at the airport and on board the ferries. This survey provides TOMM with valuable information about your experiences on Kangaroo Island.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE VISIT WWW.TOMM.INFO