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Plants & Animals

Native Plants

All of the native vegetation at Arcadia contributes to the World Heritage values of Magnetic Island.


Early survey plans of Arcadia provide information on the native vegetation of Arcadia in 1893 and 1915. These survey plans coupled with contemporary remnant and regrowth vegetation have enabled a graphic reconstruction of the distribution of vegetation communities today.


> SEE: Contemporary Vegetation of Arcadia (PDF).

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Queensland Government Remnant Vegetation Mapping for Arcadia shows a number of regional ecosystems.


Townsville City Council’s Planning Scheme identifies some significant biodiversity areas at Arcadia.


> SEE: Coastcare initiated the first Significant Trees Workshop on Magnetic Island in 2016.


> SEE: Coastcare has produced a document identifying and describing Some Significant Trees on Public Land at Arcadia (2018).


> MORE: Here are more great resources on local plants:

  1. Plants of Magnetic Island by Betsy Jackes

  2. Some Magnetic Island Plants by Donald Simpson


Visit our landscape page for more information on native plants.


The 2018 Magnetic Island Weeds Guide was collaboratively prepared by various organisations including Coastcare. This publication was delivered to all residents on Magnetic Island, and remains a valuable resource for weed control in the area.


> SEE: Coastcare have also prepared Weed Management Notes that are specific to Arcadia.

> SEE: Information on some of our weed management work on yellow oleander and rubber vine.

Explore Magnetic Island’s foreshores and reserves with an easy self-guided walk

Arcadia Coastcare's Some Native Plants of Arcadia, Magnetic Island (Yunbenun): A self-guided walk, booklet helps locals and visitors explore Magnetic Island’s foreshores and reserves.

The booklet covers more than 60 native plants in easily accessible locations around Arcadia. Written in an entertaining yet informative style, it is a rich resource for residents and visitors.


Copies of this book are available for purchase at the Arcadia Newsagency and participating outlets.

For further information, please contact Selina Hale on 
0429 194 663 or

Arcadia Coastcare Weeding Group

Arcadia Coastcare Weeding Group operates fortnightly for one hour and meets throughout the year,
excluding exceptionally hot days. Contact us if you'd like to become involved.

> See the article from Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc. “Kapok May 2022” Newsletter, about our Weeding Group.

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Areas where we manage weeds, subject to approval from authorities.

Looking after the natural features of Arcadia

The natural features of Arcadia are probably the main reason that most people live at or visit Arcadia. But the natural features aren’t necessarily going to be in good condition unless we look after them.


One of the main threats to the natural areas are weeds that invade and degrade habitat and natural landscapes. Prevention of new invasive species arriving on the island is the first step followed by controlling weeds already here.

A large reason why our Coastcare group formed was to take action on weeds threatening our natural areas. We focus on Arcadia because there is more than enough at Arcadia to keep us busy (and because Arcadia rules!), but we regularly liaise with other weed management groups on Magnetic Island and beyond.

The weed management methods that we use are primarily mechanical (hand-pulling, digging out, etc), with herbicide used where necessary. We remove weeds in natural areas so that the space created by weed removal is filled by native recruits through natural regeneration.

When doing weed management, we prioritise areas that are already in relatively good condition to stop the weeds from spreading any further. We are lucky at Arcadia that there is so much bush around so that natives often re-establish if we remove the weeds and other disturbance.

Occasionally in badly degraded areas in important locations (e.g., National Park or rare vegetation types), we reintroduce natives through collecting local native seeds and either planting them directly into the ground on site or growing them in a nursery and planting them on site once established.

We always revisit weeded areas to check for any we missed and to treat any that have returned, and regularly monitor public natural areas around Arcadia to see if any weeds have appeared.

We also prioritise efforts to the weed species that are most invasive in the bush. Some weeds are worse than others, e.g., transformer weeds such as yellow oleander and rubber vine can kill existing healthy native vegetation. Some weeds will naturally die out once you restore the native vegetation.


When we engage contractors, we require them to target priority species in priority areas using agreed methods and take before and after photos.

Through this website, workshops, practical demonstrations, etc., we try to raise public awareness of the threats of weeds to the natural environment and how to identify them and treat them.


We only work on approved public land. By engaging the local community in our work, we hope to equip local residents with the knowledge and passion to manage weeds on their own private property.

We have already eradicated some weed species from certain areas, and turned around the trajectory for some important areas, but there is still plenty more to do.


Being an island is an advantage as it’s generally harder for weeds to arrive than it is on the mainland. Being a World Heritage Island is an added advantage as it sets the bar higher and funding bodies are generally more supportive.


> SEE: More information on Magnetic Island Plants and Animals at Magnetic Island Nature Care Association.

> SEE: Raptors in Arcadia: White-bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Whistling Kite, and Brahminy Kite.


If you would like to join Arcadia Coastcare, please email us at or visit our About page for more information.

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