Kuark forest is located in far East Gippsland, Victoria. This magnificent forest is home to rare rainforest and endangered animals, but the Victorian government have planned logging operations for 2015.
Map: East Gippsland parks and reserves (green), logging coupes (red)
Many areas within the Kuark forest are earmarked for logging. Logging of Kuark forest is destroying the habitat of endangered forest Owls, Potoroos and Gliding possums. It's also impact upon unique rainforest types, found no where else on earth.
Image: Recent Logging in the Kuark forest has impacted upon rare rainforest.
East Gippsland is the Victorian stronghold for rainforest and is unique because both warm and cool temperate rainforest occurs here. Warm temperate species have evolved from tropical species that colonised Australia millions of years ago when the continent was joined to Papua New Guinea and Asia. These tropical like species slowly migrated down the east coast and East Gippsland is the most southerly extent of many of their distributional ranges.
Image: Warm temperate 'jungle pocket' - Kuark Forest (Photo: Rob Blakers)
Cool temperate rainforest also occurs here at higher elevations, the cool temperate species evolved from ancient ancestors that were growing on the super continent of Gondwana, which joined Antarctica, South America and New Zealand. Cool temperate rainforest is widespread on the west coast of Tasmania and New Zealand but is rare in Victoria. East Gippsland's Errinundra Plateu, no the north of Kuark forest, is home to the largest stand of cool temperate rainforest on mainland Australia.
Image: Ancient Sassafras in Cool Temperate "gallery rainforest" - Kuark forest (Photo: Rob Blakers)
Areas of Kuark forest are in the perfect geographic and topographic location for both warm and cool temperate rainforest to occur in the same place. This results in a rare 'overlap' rainforest type where species from both rainforest types are present. Kuark forest contains some of the best examples of overlap rainforest in the state. Sadly these rainforests are threatened by logging.
Protecting Kuark Forest - a vital link to preserve forests from the Summit to Sea.
Kuark forest is south of the Errinundra National Park. Its forests are in the foothills of the southern extension of the Errinundra Plateau. By protecting Kuark forest and linking it to Errinundra National Park to the north and Crojingalong National Park to the south, a continuous link of protected forest would be preserved from alpine to coastal environments.
East Gippsland is the only place on mainland Australia where continuous native vegetation can be found uninterrupted from alpine to coastal environments. The Alpine National Park is linked to Snowy River National Park creating a corridor for wildlife and biodiversity. In 2009, after years of campaigning we successfully helped secure a link between Snowy River National Park and Errinundra National Park. In the same year the magnificent forests of Goolengook were added to the Errinundra National Park, after we spearheaded a 5 year long campaign and direct action blockade of the area. The protection of Goolengook now extends the Park system southwards towards to coast, but it finishes at the Kuark forest which remains threatened by logging.
The protection of Kuark forest and other important areas south of Errinundra would complete the series of linkages that join Alpine environments to coastal environments and protect mainland Australia's only continuous area of native vegetation, from the summits to the seas.
This amazing gallery of photos of the Kuark forest were taken by renowned Tasmanian wilderness photographer Rob Blakers.