2022 was a busy year for tours for me and I didn’t get a chance to update news items for that year. Here is a summary, with a few highlights of 2022:

COVID in 2020 and 2021 postponed tours to Lord Howe Island for some of the groups who had booked me for tours. So 2022 was a catchup year and through that year I ran 17 tours (I usually only run seven tours a year).

I created a new website for tours and lectures, to make it easier for people to see what is on offer, and the ability to pay online. The website has a contemporary clean design, by Kathryn James. You can see it here: lordhowe-tours.com.au

I continued to monitor and document the rapid changes we are seeing on the island since the removal of rats in 2019. The numbers of birds are increasing, and across the island seedlings of all plant species are springing up everywhere. Insects and snails are also increasing.

The Friends of Lord Howe Island continued to be a strong group, contributing to the battle against weeds on the Island, with two trips that year.

Work continued at the Museum, with ongoing archiving of photographs and documents. Visitors continued to donate items and photographs to add to the archive collection. A big task has been the redesign and fitting of exhibits in the Historical Gallery. Exhibit designer Michael Bugelli was on loan from Detached Organisation in Hobart and he has created a contemporary look which is admired by all who see it.

I had several four-day trips to Mount Gower, carrying out post-rodent-eradication monitoring of the summit forest, particularly the palms. I commenced a study on the Island orchids, collecting and documenting all of our orchid species; collaborating with researchers in Australia to carry out DNA studies and assess the exact status of our orchids (are they the same as mainland Australia, or are they endemic?) In February I assisted student Peter Puskic with his work monitoring shearwaters for plastic research.

I was busy with Citizen science projects through the year, allowing visitors to participate in investigation of this amazing environment. The Sea Slug Census took place in February, with Steve Smith, and recorded several new species records for the Island.

In August the Friends of Lord Howe Island sponsored Dr Chris Reid from the Australian Museum to visit and carry out post-rodent-eradication surveys of beetles. Those on the August Friends weeding ecotour participated in the surveys. Regular workshops with visitors were held at the museum, sorting beach plastic and entering data on the national ocean plastic database.