Great news for greater gliders! Our recent survey that found 11 greater gliders has resulted in a 100 hectare protected area and stopped VicForests from destroying their habitat.
The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning verified the survey last week and found the same number of gliders that we did, they are now in the process of creating a protection zone. Logging will no longer go ahead in the area and the gliders remain safe.
We're calling on Environment Minister Lisa Neville to make her department conduct their own surveys. It's not the job the community to look for and protect unique creatures like the greater glider before their homes are logged.
It's the government's job, but they're not doing it.
Media Release 19.05.2016
A citizen survey for greater gliders in old growth forest on the Errinundra plateau in East Gippsland has officially resulted in a 100-hectare protected area declared by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). The new protected area has forced VicForests to stop logging in the area.
In late April, Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) conducted a nighttime survey in a VicForests logging coupe. The survey found 11 greater gliders in less than 1km, the results were reported to the state government bringing logging operations to stop.
Greater gliders are Australia’s largest gliding marsupials. They live in old growth forests, eat gum leaves and are capable of gliding up to 100m through the forest canopy.
In East Gippsland greater glider habitat is legally protected when more than 10 greater gliders are detected on a 1km survey. DELWP conducted a verification survey last week that also found 11 greater gliders, triggering the legal requirement to protect the area from logging.
In January this year, logging in a separate area of forest on the Errinundra plateau was halted and 100 hectares of habitat protected after GECO surveys recorded 15 Greater Gliders in forest that was being logged.
“This month the greater glider was listed as vulnerable on the federal threatened species list, however the Regional Forest Agreements exempt logging from federal environment law, handing responsibility to the states. In this case the state failed to protect the gliders by allowing logging in critical habitat, if we didn’t survey the area and find the gliders, they’d be dead by now and their habitat destroyed, ” said Ed Hill
“VicForests has broken the law once again by logging without detecting and protecting the greater glider. Logging should never have gone ahead here, it’s old growth forest and a known stronghold for this protected species,” said GECO spokesperson Ed Hill.
“We’re calling on Environment Minister Lisa Neville and DELWP to prosecute VicForests for logging in these areas of Greater Glider habitat. How much more protected species habitat will be logged unlawfully before DELWP act and actually do their job as the regulator?” said Ed Hill.
“The logging industry’s self-regulated compliance system is dysfunctional. It’s a conflict of interest for VicForests to conduct their own surveys for protected species, Minister Neville should make DELWP conduct surveys to determine where logging can and can’t go ahead so threatened species are protected.”
“It’s up to community groups like us to race against time to make sure the law is being followed and protected species are protected. DELWP is relying on the community to do their job for them and is neglecting their responsibilities to protect threatened species before logging in their habitat is approved,” said Ed Hill.
Media contact : Ed Hill - 0414 199 645