The Andrews government has imminent plans to log forests which were supposed to be protected for the threatened Greater Glider. Back in 2018 we found a significant number of gliders in the Cottonwood area - we were told by the Environment Department that they were putting a protection area to save the gliders.
But we were alarmed when we saw the area was scheduled for logging in December, and was even resurveyed by the Environment Department earlier this year, even after they said they would protecting the forests!
Greater Glider found in Steps Track by GECO citizen scientistsRead more
We are kick-starting 2022 with a weekend of citizen science in the forests of Errinundra on Bidewell and Monero Country.
Come experience East Gippsland's incredible forests and wildlife and get involved in the fight to save them.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Because of the current COVID outbreak in NSW and Vic, we're no longer able to provide communal facilities, and have scaled back the event to just nocturnal spotlighting, with some self-guided walks through threatened forests in Errinundra.
Bring your own camping gear, cooking equipment, food and water containers. Also good to bring cameras, wet weather gear (even in summer it can get cold and wet!), warm clothes, sturdy hiking or walking shoes etc. Walks are often off-track and unmarked.
Head to the Goongerah campground on Friday and set up your camp. GECO volunteers will come by in the late afternoon to check vaccination statuses, run through our COVID policy and what to expect over the weekend, then we'll head out for some spotlighting :)
This event is FREE but feel free to bring cash if you want to buy some merch or make a donation.
This event will take place on stolen land. We pay our deepest respects to the Traditional Owners the Bidewell and Monero Peoples whose Country we will be gathering on. We pay respects to their Elders past and present.
GECO volunteers have found a giant 14m circumference Errinundra Shining gum in forests slated for logging, only a few hundred metres from a main tourist road. The tree is around the same size and significance as the giant tree protected in the Old Growth forest walk in the Errinundra NP.
It's just one of many huge trees citizen scientists found in these forests. We're calling on the government to remove this area from the current logging schedule, read our report and recommendations here.
Giant 14.5 metre Errinundra Shining gum in forests slated for loggingRead more
Logging has been halted in an important area of forest home to critically endangered Masked Owl, and Yellow-bellied Gliders where GECO says logging was unlawful. Conservation groups sounded the alarm over illegal logging in the Colquhoun State Forest on Gunnai Kurnai Country in December last year when citizen scientists found a high density of Yellow-bellied Gliders.
GECO received a letter from the logging regulator stating the report and detections had triggered a protection zone. But they didn't protect forests up for logging, and refused to prosecute VicForests for illegally logging forests that should've been saved. There's a cluster of four coupes in the area, it's some of the last remaining old growth forest and unburnt refugia for threatened species in the Colquhoun.
Bulldozers were about to move into the adjacent forest, but thankfully Environment East Gippsland and their legal team secured an urgent injunction to stop the imminent logging of the forests. You can support their tireless work to defend East Gippsland's forests in court by donating here.
Unburnt forest refuge in the Colquhoun where logging was halted by a court injunctionRead more
In just over 5 years Greater Gliders are going from vulnerable to endangered under federal legislation, and are also set to be listed as endangered in Victoria. A new study shows threatened species laws are failing to stop the decline of wildlife like the Greater Glider, an article published in the Conversation says "The greater glider is edging towards extinction, but there is still no recovery plan for this iconic marsupial."
In Victoria, so-called protections for the Greater Glider announced by the Dan Andrews government in 2019 allows logging where gliders are found and weakens existing protections in East Gippsland, which were already failing to stop decline of the species.
For years we've been hosting citizen science camp to survey for gliders in forests scheduled for logging. Sign up to our email list to get updates on our next survey camp to be part of the campaign to save these precious critters.
Greater Glider found in forests scheduled for logging in ErrinundraRead more
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Over 30 people attended our Easter citizen science and skill share camp over the long weekend, including Green Senator and First Nations activist Lidia Thorpe. Volunteers did surveys for Greater Gliders, tree measuring, and marked out a walk through an incredible area of threatened forest in the Cottonwood area. Community protests have halted logging for the last 9 weeks in the area. One area was removed from the immediate logging schedule, while two others are currently being blockaded. More than 5 people have been arrested and fined in the last week, but a person is still occupying a tree-sit, and another a quad-pod structure blocking access to the area.
VicForests have removed the coupe in Errinundra where community protests have halted logging for nearly 2 months from the immediate schedule. Multiple tree-sits had been set up in the area, two people have been arrested since the protests started at the end of January this year. The Errinundra Plateau is one of the few remaining unburnt areas in East Gippsland, and a critical refuge for bushfire ravaged wildlife.
While the area is safe for now, logging machines are already moving into an area just down the road where GECO citizen scientists found five Greater Gliders. Protests against the logging are ramping up in the area. Camp Errinundra is still halting logging in this critical area of unburnt forest. Camp is always in need of more support, click here for details of how to get involved.
Community protests halted logging for nearly 2 months
East Gippsland conservation groups were outraged to learn this week that environmental protections for threatened species detected in state forests are being designed by state owned logging company VicForests.
GECO received notice from the Environment Department that a report submitted last year for detections of a high-density of Yellow-bellied Gliders had triggered the implementation of a 100ha protection zone. But we've been informed that the state-owned logging company VicForests were put in charge of designing the zone, and that it's being placed over existing buffers, and does not protect the habitat of the gliders. Logging had already started in the area when citizen scientists detected the species.
In less than a week over 500 people have emailed decision makers to call for protection of forests, over the past few days calls flooded into the Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio's office asking her to direct her Department to put in proper zones which protect the forests. Sign and share our email action here to keep making an impact!
Forests in the Colquhoun still threatened by loggingRead more
A new report showing analysis of maps and data from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires has revealed the significant areas of unburnt forests critical for bushfire affected wildlife are set to be logged by the Victorian Government.
These and other important areas are still scheduled for logging, when they need to be protected. Take action and email decision makers to drop logging plans and protect forests and wildlife.