Barunguba / Montague Island

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Montague island
(Barunguba)
Native name:
Barunguba
MontagueIslandFmNarooma.jpg
The island viewed from Narooma, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) away
Geography
LocationTasman Sea
Administration
Australia
StateNew South Wales
Montague Island Nature Reserve
New South Wales
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
MontagueIslandSeals.JPG
Australian fur seals located in the water adjacent to the island
Montague Island Nature Reserve is located in New South Wales
Montague Island Nature Reserve
Montague Island Nature Reserve
Nearest town or cityNarooma
Coordinates36°15′S 150°13′E / 36.250°S 150.217°E / -36.250; 150.217Coordinates: 36°15′S 150°13′E / 36.250°S 150.217°E / -36.250; 150.217
EstablishedJanuary 1990 (1990-01)[1]
Area0.81 km2 (0.3 sq mi)[1]
Visitation6,000 (in 2002)
Managing authoritiesNSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
WebsiteMontague Island Nature Reserve
See alsoProtected areas of
New South Wales

Montague Island (Barunguba) is a continental island contained within the Montague Island Nature Reserve, a protected nature reserve that is located offshore from the South Coast region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The nearest town located onshore from the 81-hectare (200-acre) reserve and island is Narooma, situated approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) to the northwest.

History[edit]

The island has been known to the local group of Yuin people, an Aboriginal nation, as Barunguba,[2] and there are Aboriginal sites of significance across the island.[3] It features in Aboriginal mythology, as the eldest son of Gulaga (Mount Dromedary), the mother. Her younger son, Najanuka (Little Dromedary), was not allowed to go far from home as Barunguba did, but Gulaga can still see her both her sons in the distance.[4]

The island was first sighted by Europeans in 1770 by James Cook and named Cape Dromedary, then identified as an island and named by the master of the Second Fleet convict transport Surprize after George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax.[5][6]

Dual naming[edit]

After a period of community consultation from mid-2021,[7] the island was officially assigned the dual names of Montague Island and Barunguba on 30 November 2021. Signage will place Barunguba [8] reflecting the importance of the Dhurga language, history and traditions. Gulaga and Najanuka / Little Dromedary Mountain were dual-named at the same time.[4]

Description[edit]

Montague Island, situated off the South Coast of New South Wales near Narooma,[9] is the second largest island off the NSW coast after Lord Howe Island,[10] and forms part of the Montague Island Nature Reserve.[9] It has been classified by the National Trust as a Landscape Conservation Area for its scenic, scientific and historical values. The Montague Island Light buildings are entered on the Register of the National Estate because of the architectural quality of the tower and residences.[10]

Montague Island is a popular tourist destination, known for its lighthouse, wildlife, most especially little penguins (Eudyptula minor), and recreational activities; managed by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS).[11] Public access to the island is restricted to guided tours conducted by the NPWS in association with private operators.[10]

Lighthouse[edit]

A lighthouse called Montague Island Light is maintained on the island by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The lighthouse was designed by James Barnet and built in 1881. It was automated in 1986 and was no longer staffed in 1987. The lighthouse is 21 metres (69 ft) tall and the light is 80 metres (260 ft) above sea level with a nominal range of 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi) and a geographic range of 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi). The original Fresnel lens was removed in 1986 and is now on display at the Narooma Lighthouse Museum.[12]

The next lighthouse to the north is the Burrewarra Point lighthouse. Amateur radio expeditions to the island were organised in 2010 and 2011.[citation needed]

Wildlife[edit]

Forty-nine species of fauna have been recorded on the island by the National Parks and Wildlife Service NSW.[13]

Little penguins[edit]

The island is home to a large colony of little penguins on the island. As the island has no foxes or feral cats, the penguins have no predators other than other seabirds and seals. With the restoration of native habitat and the provision of penguin breeding boxes, penguin numbers have increased, and there are now approximately 12,000 on the island. The female usually lays two eggs, and during a good year, both chicks will survive. The birds come ashore at dusk after feeding at sea, and visitors to the island can watch the birds from a platform near the jetty.

Crested terns[edit]

Crested terns, Sterna bergii, have brilliant white feathers covering the body while the head is completely black.

Shearwaters[edit]

Shearwaters, also known as mutton birds, nest on the island. Species recorded are:

Seals[edit]

The northern tip of the island is the seasonal home to a seal bachelor colony. Due to the site's remoteness, it is only possible for visitors to see them from a boat.

The majority of the seals are Australian fur seals, (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus), New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri), subantarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis) and Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) have also been observed.

Environmental restoration[edit]

Kikuyu grass is a major weed on the island. Originally introduced in the early 19th century to help feed the animals kept by the lighthouse keepers and their families, it has spread to cover most of the south island. To control it, NPWS officers poison a section, then burn it, before replanting with help from volunteers. In the less accessible areas of the northern and eastern parts, an aerial spraying program is used to manage the kikuyu where it infests shearwater breeding sites. The kikuyu is a barrier for the shearwaters and penguins, who cannot penetrate it to move or to burrow. Various native species are used to replant areas after the kikuyu grass has been controlled.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Montague Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.0
(105.8)
37.2
(99.0)
33.8
(92.8)
29.1
(84.4)
26.9
(80.4)
22.0
(71.6)
24.0
(75.2)
25.9
(78.6)
31.7
(89.1)
34.1
(93.4)
34.9
(94.8)
37.2
(99.0)
41.0
(105.8)
Average high °C (°F) 23.0
(73.4)
23.3
(73.9)
22.4
(72.3)
20.5
(68.9)
18.2
(64.8)
16.2
(61.2)
15.5
(59.9)
16.1
(61.0)
17.5
(63.5)
18.8
(65.8)
20.0
(68.0)
21.7
(71.1)
19.4
(66.9)
Average low °C (°F) 17.4
(63.3)
17.9
(64.2)
17.1
(62.8)
15.2
(59.4)
13.2
(55.8)
11.1
(52.0)
10.0
(50.0)
10.2
(50.4)
11.3
(52.3)
12.7
(54.9)
14.2
(57.6)
16.0
(60.8)
13.9
(57.0)
Record low °C (°F) 9.5
(49.1)
5.9
(42.6)
9.6
(49.3)
6.9
(44.4)
5.7
(42.3)
3.1
(37.6)
2.1
(35.8)
2.2
(36.0)
4.5
(40.1)
6.9
(44.4)
6.7
(44.1)
8.7
(47.7)
2.1
(35.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 71.1
(2.80)
83.5
(3.29)
100.3
(3.95)
81.4
(3.20)
74.3
(2.93)
96.7
(3.81)
51.6
(2.03)
53.7
(2.11)
57.4
(2.26)
63.0
(2.48)
76.1
(3.00)
65.4
(2.57)
881.8
(34.72)
Average precipitation days 10.5 10.3 10.9 8.8 8.5 8.8 6.9 8.0 8.8 10.2 12.1 11.0 114.8
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Montague Island Nature Reserve: Park management". Office of Environment & Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Home page". Montague Island. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Montague Island". Visit NSW. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Significant sites dual named on the south coast". Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (New South Wales). 30 November 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2021. CC-BY icon.svg Text may have been copied from this source, which is available under a Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.
  5. ^ Flinders, Matthew (1814). A Voyage to Terra Australis. London: G. and W. Nicol., entry for 3 February 1798
  6. ^ Reed, A. W. (1969). Place names of New South Wales, their origins and meanings. Sydney: Reed Books.
  7. ^ Collard, Sarah (18 June 2021). "Sacred NSW mountains on track to be dual named". NITV. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  8. ^ Reardon, Adriane (1 December 2021). "Dual names accepted for three mountains and an island at NSW far south coast". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Montague Island Nature Reserve". NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Montague Island Nature Reserve: Plan of management (PDF). NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (PDF). Government of New South Wales. November 1995. ISBN 978-0-7310-0852-0. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Adventure - Montague Island Nature Reserve". VisitNSW. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  12. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Australia: Northern New South Wales". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  13. ^ (Wildlife atlas) Archived 15 June 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Climate Statistics for Montague Island Lighthouse". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 13 November 2016.

External links[edit]