Sugar Glider

Protecting K’gari Fraser Island’s Biodiversity

There is one thing that every traveller loves about K’gari Fraser Island, and that is its amazing array of animals and gorgeous landscapes that make this slice of paradise so special. K’gari has been an island cut off from the mainland of Australia for thousands of years and because of that its biodiversity has developed into a pretty unique thing, a special place with its own rhythms. It’s not exactly as remote as it once was of course but there are still a lot of plants and animals here that exist only because they are part of the island’s delicate ecosystem. See it’s important to Keep K’gari (Fraser Island) Healthy.

Bad Kitty

Kgari Cat

There was a case recently of a group of visitors who decided to bring along their pet cat to the island. They posed with it and posted the pictures to social media and there was an almost immediate backlash. So, why the big deal? It’s just a cat, right?

Well, yes and no. It is just a cat (a cute one at that) but it’s presence on the island was very serious, and definitely not good. Animals who are not native to the island and therefore not a part of its ecosystem pose a threat. In this case, had the cat escaped it could have kick started a serious imbalance. The wongari (dingos) would be attracted to the cat, potentially causing conflict between them, the cat and its owners. Plus any domestic animal can carry disease which could potentially decimate the native wildlife. And if you get two cats escaping together? Then you’ve eventually got a feral cat population that would have to be managed and controlled, which is very difficult to do.

Bringing any domestic animal on the island is prohibited to keep K’gari (Fraser Island) healthy.

What needs our protection?

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Every animal that lives on K’gari Fraser Island is special but none more so than the dog that the island is best known for – the wongari, or dingo. Anyone lucky enough to see one of these beautiful animals lazing out in the sun or running along the beach will tell you what a once in a lifetime experience it is. The wongari found here are the purest strain in the whole of Australia which makes them even more special, and in need of protection. Other animals that co-exist here include the rarely spotted echidna (they are shy little guys), the huge Sand Monitor and Lace Monitor lizards, rare species of frog, the Swamp Wallaby, Small Eared Mountain Possum and Sugar Glider. And many more! 

What YOU can do to Keep K’gari (Fraser Island) healthy!

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It goes without saying that you’ll want to leave your pets at home. Reporting sightings of unauthorised animals on the island is also really important to the protection of all the wildlife on K’gari. 

When we land on the shores of K’gari, and spot our resident animals, its very important to keep a distance from them, especially the dingo. They have become incredibly tame in recent years that they’ll wander up to cars which they associate as food trucks knowing they’ll get fed; This is definitely the opposite of what needs to happen. Once they become used to humans, they will get too complacent and will only take one incident for someone to get bitten or worse. The dingo have plenty of food on the island and do not need your ham and cheese sandwiches. They are naturally lean like a greyhound and if they are caught too close to humans, they will be ‘humanely destroyed’.

If you spot other travellers on the island feeding or encouraging a dingo to eat food, it comes down to your moral responsibility to report them to the appropriate authorities as this behaviour is detrimental to the wongari way of life and to keep K’gari (Fraser Island) healthy.

Cleaning up the muck!

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But it’s not just invasive species that are a threat. Climate change is a big one along with habitat destruction so always take care as you hike and explore, and stick to well trodden paths where you find them. Waste is becoming more of an issue on K’gari too so be sure to recycle everything you can as you travel around the island.

K’gari adventure tours with the combined efforts of Zero Co and Ocean crusaders have put in the work and the time over the years collecting TONNES of trash, both domestic and international.

Its heartbreaking to see a tide wash up an abundance of rubbish, most of it plastic, but worse is to see the rubbish left behind within the national park from travellers to the island. Don’t be a tosser, take your trash with you!

K’gari Fraser Island is a beautiful, unique island home to some precious critters.  Our mates over at K’gari Fraser Island Adventures are locals and know the island like the back of their hand. Contact them today and book yourself on one of their epic tours, and see what you’ve been missing.