Winter citizen science camp collects data to save forests

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Forty people made the journey to Goongerah for the GECO winter citizen science camp over the long weekend. 

People from Melbourne, Canberra, East Gippsland and as far as the USA and Hong Kong joined us for old growth walks, forest carbon accounting practicals, remote fauna camera deployment, habitat mapping and nocturnal spotlighting surveys.

Lots of valuable data was collected to help protect East Gippsland's forests and threatened species from logging.

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Participants joined walks through proposed old growth logging coupes on the Errinundra plateau. Walkers assisted to locate good quality habitat for arboreal mammals during the day and returned during the night to conduct spotlighting surveys for greater gliders.

Dozens of greater gliders were detected on various surveys over the weekend, all in areas designated for logging.

One survey recorded 13 greater gliders, more than the required number to trigger protection. We've submitted a report to the state government this week so protections from logging can be put in place.

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Forest carbon accounting sessions in the Cottonwood range forests completed a one hectare plot in forest scheduled for logging.

Our carbon accounting surveys seek to measure the biomass of dead and live wood in wet forests.

The biomass measurements can be used to give a rough estimate of how much carbon is being stored in wet forests before logging. The plot we completed on Saturday adds another good data set and new sample area to this project.

Saturday night was icy cold and we bunkered down in the Goongerah community hall. GECO campaigners delivered informative presentations about the campaign to protect East Gippsland's forests, the ecology of greater glider and Long -footed potoroo and a session on remote fauna camera uses and operation.

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On Monday we toured Kuark forest to the south for more old growth walks, mapping special rainforest areas and deploying remote fauna cameras to record the endangered Long-footed potoroo.

It was fantastic to meet so may enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate people and share with them our knowledge about these forests and the species that call them home.

GECO's next survey camp will be held on the Melbourne Cup weekend, October 29th to November 1st. 2016. Check here for details.

To make a tax deductible donation to the GECO citizen science campaign click here.

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