Pressure on Labor to protect forests as flying possum glides towards extinction

More than 600 hectares of known Greater Glider habitat has been logged since the animal was listed as vulnerable to extinction under Victorian law and thousands of hectares are planned to be logged, research by environment groups has found.

East Gippsland environment group Goongerah Environment Centre and citizen science groups Fauna and Flora Research Collective and Wildlife of the Central Highlands have today released a report that documents areas of forest where ecological surveys have located Greater Glider populations that have been logged by government owned logging company VicForests. 

Logging of the glider populations has occurred since the animal’s listing as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act in June 2017.  FFG Act listed species are required to have action statements published that outline how threats, such as logging, will be managed to protect the species. But the Andrews Labor government has stalled action to protect the glider, allowing logging in important habitat to continue unrestricted. 

Photo: Josh Bowell

TheGliding towards extinction’ report investigates 163 instances where spotlighting surveys have detected the presence of Greater Gliders inside Victorian logging coupes and finds:

  • 44 logging coupes containing 192 Greater Glider detections have been logged.
  • 602 ha of Greater Glider habitat has been logged since the species was listed on FFG Act
  • 119 logging coupes containing 534 Greater Glider detections representing approx. 2,716 ha of habitat is scheduled for logging.

READ COVERAGE ABOUT THE REPORT IN THE AGE HERE 

 Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill said:

"Australia's extinction crisis is being made worse by government inaction, the neglect that the Andrew's Labor government has shown forest dependant species is appalling," said

"We know greater gliders die when their home range is logged, yet the Andrews government is still failing to protect this unique animal, even after listing it as vulnerable to extinction under state law" 

"If our iconic wildlife is to be given a chance our leaders must protect habitat which means protecting forests from logging."  

"We need to focus efforts on the threats we can control, like logging. It's hard to predict where the next big bushfire will occur, or what impacts will be felt by species from climate change, but what we do know is that logging kills greater gliders and we can prevent the destruction of their habitat by protecting forests from logging."  

"The current reserve system in Victoria needs to be expanded to safeguard a future for our threatened wildlife. Daniel Andrews has sat on his hands too long, Labor need to immediately protect forests from logging and complete the transition of the logging industry into plantations, non timber sources of fibre and sustainable jobs."   

Media contact: Ed Hill – 0414 199 645 geco@geco.org.au


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  • Rosemary Brooks
    commented 2019-07-04 17:30:58 +1000
    Short term political gains… not a good look!
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