Australian islands closed to tourists after infestation

Australian islands closed to tourists after infestation

PSA: Islands in the Great Barrier Reef are shutting down one by one. If you haven’t visited yet we don’t know what to tell you. You probably never will.

Okay, maybe we’re being a teeny bit dramatic. But maybe we ARE NOT.

Forget the beautiful white beaches and the unbelievably clear water and just stay home (for a while at least) because rats have taken over!

Yes, that’s right. The rats are human-sized and are going to kill us all.

Only joking. But there is an infestation across some islands in our fave tropical destination – resulting in not one, not two, but 10 islands being closed off to tourists. 10!

The Frankland Islands group, which are superbly popular for reef trips out of Cairns, has been shut down.

Which means, for the time being, tourists will miss out on the amazing wildlife that nests on the islands – as well as the wonder of the reef itself. We just hope you can find green sea turtles and migratory birds nesting on some of the other nearby islands that aren’t infested with rats. Which, TBH, you probably can.

And it’s not just The Frankland Islands group which have fallen victim to this infestation – the North Barnard Islands group has also been closed whilst the Department of Environment and Science sorts out the problem.

The North Barnard Islands are one of the sweetest spots around for kayaking and whale sitings, and didn’t deserve this horror.

“The control of black rats on these islands is a high priority and will play a significant role in restoring the valuable seabird nesting habitat in the area,” a Department of Environment and Science spokesman said in a statement.

Both of the groups of islands are vital parts of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area for seabird colonies and other native wildlife (like the aforementioned adorable turtles).

The islands will be closed for the next three weeks whilst the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service controls the plague of black rats which has been harming native wildlife.

But don’t fret! After this infestation has been taken care of, a pest management program will also help prevent further infestations to other islands. So you can still go for Spring Break, obvs.

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