Surveys conducted last year during GECO citizen science camps have resulted in protection of three proposed logging coupes that provide habitat for Endangered Orbost Spiny Crayfish and Greater Gliders.
The environment department wrote to GECO and the Fauna and Flora Research Collective last week informing us that new protections will be put in place in light of our survey results.
The state government has stopped logging in the Queensborough river forests where protected Greater Gliders were detected by our survey team.
The report we submitted on Wednesday morning with our friends at the FFRC Inc documented 11 Greater Gliders within a distance of 1km, triggering legal protection of the forest. The environment department will now conduct verification surveys in the coming days.
Government scientists have advised Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio to issue a conservation order to protect the Greater Glider from logging.
The Minister's department has urged her not to follow this advice.
Instead the department recommended discussions with the state logging agency for ‘voluntary action’.
Scientific advice and departmental documents were released to GECO under Freedom of Information.
The Victorian Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has made a final recommendation to list the greater glider as a protected species on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act.
The greater glider was nominated for listing last year, the SAC final recommendation has now been forwarded to Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio who has 30 days to decide whether the species will be listed.
Listing the greater glider on the FFG Act must be swiftly followed by measures to strengthen protections for the species in state forests subject to logging.
GECO has submitted a report to the state government this morning detailing a high density of Greater gliders within the controversial 'Abra Cadabra' logging coupe in the Cottonwood Range.
This coupe was set aside for conservation by the Victorian Government's Forest Industry Taskforce, but VicForests commenced logging anyway. Logging here is undermining confidence in the Taskforce process.
Logging in this coupe is impacting on protected species habitat in breach of logging industry regulations.Read more
We conducted a spotlighting survey in the Cottonwood range on Tuesday night and recorded twenty two protected greater gliders. The survey was conducted in a VicForests logging coupe where logging was due to commence any day. Where more than 10 greater gliders are found in 1km or more than 2 greater gliders per hectare of forest, the law requires 100 hectares of habitat to be protected from logging.
We submitted a report to the Department who must now implement the legally required protections and prevent logging from occurring.
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.Read more
Great news! The greater glider survey we conducted recently has been verified by ecologists commissioned by the Department of Environment. 100 hectares will be protected from logging! The verification team found the same number of gliders as we did, 15 in total.
It's good to see the government respond and act in this case. But why was this logging area not surveyed to start with and why did it take a small group of volunteers to conduct an 11th hour survey to stop logging at the last minute? Hopefully this will encourage Lisa Neville MP's Department to conduct independent pre-logging surveys to ensure protected species are identified prior to logging. There was some great coverage about this successful result on the ABC's AM program. A journalist from the program came out with us on a survey looking for the Greater Gliders smaller cousin, the Yellow Bellied Glider.Read more
In the early morning hours of January 25th, three citizen scientist surveyors conducted a survey for Greater Gliders in old growth forest on the Errinundra Plateau. Logging machinery had just moved in and logging was about to commence. We knew this area was high quality habitat for Greater Gliders and we conducted a survey to determine if the species was present in high enough densities to trigger legal protection. We found 15 Greater Gliders in about 800m, this is a huge population that should trigger legal protection and result in the creation of a 100 hectare protected area. If greater than 10 Greater Gliders are found within a 1km survey transect, a 100 hectare protected area must be created. We finished the survey at 3am, complied the data, wrote the report, mapped the results and submitted it the state government by 8:59am. By 10am VicForests were forced to stop logging! Click here to read the report.