World Heritage Magnetic Island - worth caring for...
THE ACQUISITION OF BOLGER BAY CONSERVATION PARK
In 1998, a 16 hectare (40 acre) block of virtually untouched land at Bolger Bay on the western side of Magnetic Island was declared available for purchase. The then owners, sympathetic to the principles and aims of MINCA, offered the land to MINCA at a price below market expectations.
Looking across Bolger Bay Conservation Park to the sea (Photo: Pen Sheridan)
Pandanus and eucalypts in Bolger Bay Conservation Park (Photo: Pen Sheridan)
Members of MINCA recognised the
importance of the land:
It was the largest, least disturbed and most naturally diverse block of lowland habitat on the island.
It formed a natural wildlife corridor across Bolger Bay, extending from the mangroves to the undisturbed hill slopes leading up to the National Park.
It linked two of the lots in an existing nature refuge.
It contained examples of a number of ecosystems that are largely unrepresented in Magnetic Island National Park, and
poorly represented within the region, including:
- gently sloping alluvial
fans with woodlands dominated by poplar gum (Eucalyptus platyphylla) and
bloodwood (Corymbia clarksoniana); - low coastal dunes with woodlands of
bloodwood (C. clarksoniana) and paperbarks (Melaleuca spp.); - seasonal swamps with screw palm (Pandanus spiralis), paperbarks (Melaleuca
spp.) - sedgelands; and - seasonal creeks.
It provided habitat for wildlife
of particular conservation significance, including:
- the endemic and rare Sadlier's dwarf
skink (Menetia sadlieri); - the vulnerable Single-striped delma (Delma
labialis); - the rare Saxicoline sunskink (Lampropholis
mirabilis); - the rare Rusty monitor (Varanus
semiremex); - the rare Common death-adder (Acanthophis
antarcticus); and - the vulnerable Coastal sheathtail bat (Taphozous
In 1999, MINCA applied to the
federal government for funding under the National Heritage Trust Program to
assist it purchase the land, and then started work to raise the balance of
funds needed to purchase the land and to fund its management for the first few
Both the application and the funding drive were successful
and the land was purchased in 2002. From then on, MINCA started to take care of
the block before, finally, in 2008, a management agreement was signed by the Director of
the Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Region, on behalf of the State of
Queensland and by the President of MINCA. Under the terms of the
agreement, MINCA became trustee of what had become by then Bolger Bay
Conservation Park, and responsible for its day-to-day management. In practice
this is achieved through a sub-committee of MINCA, the Bolger Bay Sub-Committee.