A new national park is about to be launched as part of a $30 million expansion of the Great Barrier Reef, and the first project beacon is about the size of a small jet fighter.
The $3 million project beacon has been created by Queensland-based company Hummingbird as a collaboration between Great Barrier University and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
The project beacon was designed to be placed at the entrance of the iconic Great Barrier Barrier Reef and is intended to provide a permanent home for the world’s largest population of hummingbirds.
“We were looking for a way to have a permanent habitat to protect the habitat,” project director Greg Boulton said.
“So the idea was that it could be there for the life of the species and then, over time, if it’s time for the hummingbirds to move to another habitat, they would go there and nest there.”
The new project beacon will have a similar size to a small plane but will be able to stay in place with the assistance of an external buoy.
“It’s designed to provide some stability for the birds, but also provide some support and a place for them to nest,” Mr Boultons said.
The project is set to begin in 2019.
“The new bird habitat will be part of the Reef’s future national park, as part the new Great Barrier reef restoration project,” Mr Jervis said.
He said the new project is also a demonstration project for the NPWS and the Queensland Government to develop and manage a national monument.
“This is part of our vision of protecting the Great Reef for future generations,” Mr Rennard said.
“Our project beacon project is a part of that vision and the future of the reef.”
Mr Rennar said the project will also provide a way for Queensland to showcase its biodiversity and create jobs.
“There’s going to be a lot of birding going on over there, we’re going to have the opportunity to showcase the Great Australian Barrier Reef to people,” he said.