Logging has been stopped by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) in forest near Goongerah.
The forest is habitat for the endangered large brown tree frog (Litoria littlejohni), a species thought to be extinct from Victoria until rediscovered by GECO volunteers last year. The frog is only know in Victoria from six recently recorded sites.
This week VicForests started logging within 600m of where a large brown tree frog was recently found. VicForests had not conducted any surveys of the forest to evaluate the threat to the frog and other protected species.
We sent a report to the state government first thing on Monday morning as VicForests were starting to bulldoze the frog's habitat. Our report detailed why logging in this area was unlawful.
On Monday logging caused significant damage to precious habitat. On Monday night we conduct a spotlighting survey of the forest for Yellow Bellied Gliders. We found seven gliders within 1km, triggering the legal requirement for a protection zone. We worked through the night preparing another report which we sent to VicForests and DELWP at 7am.
At 9am DELWP called GECO to say logging had stopped and they will conduct surveys for the frog and gliders
It's a great result but logging in this area should never have occurred in the first place. VicForests are a logging company, it's not in their interest to conduct surveys for endangered species.
Several areas of habitat for the endangered frog remain threatened by logging and have not been surveyed. We're calling on the Minister to make her department survey for protected species in these areas.
It should not be left up to the community to prevent illegal logging and ensure threatened species are protected in accordance with the law.
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