Lord Howe Island

To: Peter Madvig <>, birding-aus <>
Subject: Lord Howe Island
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 22:34:25 +1000
> From: "Peter Madvig" <>
> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 15:05:39 +1100
> To: "birding-aus" <>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Lord Howe Island

Peter mentioned that -
> There is a wonderful plant life on the island

Volume 49 of "The Flora of Australia" covers the plants of Lord Howe and
Norfolk Islands. For Lord Howe, it describes 241 indigenous species, of
which 105 are endemic - occur naturally nowhere else.  There are five genera
of plants that are endemic - Negria, Lordhowea, Howea, Lepidorrhachi and

Go to the top of Mt Gower and almost every plant you see is endemic.  It's

The sad part is that there are also 218 species of introduced plants that
have become naturalised, including a number of serious weeds.  Most of the
Island is a reserve that is the equivalent of National Park, and the NSW
Parks Service assists the local administration in its management.  The weed
problem is being tackled, but it is very labour-intensive, which is a
problem for the very small local population.  Volunteer weeding groups from
the mainland are making a very worth-while contribution.  (Any b-aus
subscribers feel like volunteering?  You get accommodation at reduced rates,
some free time to explore, and (I think) one guided walk led by Ian Hutton.)

And all that on the most beautiful small island in the world!  Makes me wish
I was still young and fit enough.

Peter also wrote of "Lord Howe Woodhen, the most noteworthy of the land
birds".  And I can't resist mentioning that years ago I tackled a patch of
Crofton-weed that was choking the native plants, much to the great delight
of the local Woodhen for the invertebrates this exposed.  I sat down for a
rest and the Woodhen climbed onto my legs and looked me in the face as if to
say, "Well, get a move on.  Do some more."




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