Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bracks must act to protect Leadbeater's possum habitat

It is sad news indeed that only one Leadbeater's possum, Victoria’s state faunal emblem, remains in captivity after its mate died in a Melbourne sanctuary.

The possum’s survival is under threat because clearfell logging of the Central Highlands, including Melbourne’s water catchments, is destroying its habitat. It needs old trees with hollows for its nests.

Steve Bracks should act immediately to protect these forests and prevent the possum's extinction in its natural habitat. He should also protect the remaining forest habit of Karak, the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo which was the Commonwealth Games mascot, to assist its survival in the wild too.


Anonymous said...

If you care about the possums you should at least gain some knowledge about them. These possums rely on disturbed areas as well as older hollow bearing trees. Even scientific experts see forestry as a method to manage Leadbeaters habitat on a landscape scale!!!!

Peter Campbell said...

I think it is quite obvious that the progressive destruction of the possum's habitat by clearfell logging is putting pressure on Leadbeater's possum survival in the wild. The possums thrived prior to the advent of industrial clearfell logging. The scientific experts (such as Dr Lindenmeyer) have confirmed that the loss of habitat is endangering the possum's survival.

Forest Truth not Green Lies! said...

The Leadbeaters possums thrived prior to the 1939 fires, (why do you think the majority of stands in the Central Highlands Forest Management Area is only 67 years old?) which destroyed the possums preferred habitat not forestry! You really do yourself and conservationists a disservice using irrational arguments like that.
Leadbeaters Habitat is actually reserved from logging in all Victorian state forest, and even larger areas are permanently reserved in National Parks - how can these be threatened by logging?
These reserves (Yarra Ranges National Park) contain the most extensive areas of old-growth, mature and multi aged Mountain Ash in the Central Highlands - over 20% of the existing area of that forest type in the region.
In addition, legislation protects modelled areas of habitat in state forests, and all Mountain Ash trees originating from pre 1900.

Anonymous said...

Dear Forest truth not green lies,
I must correct you on a couple of things - firstly, you obviously know nothing about the reality of logging in Vic's forests - by stating that "Leadbeaters Habitat is actually reserved from logging in all Victorian state forest" you have revealed your ignorance of the issue. You clearly have never heard of the Royston, nor the south face of Mt Baw Baw. I can show you maps if you like. Secondly, with the same statement, your ability to have a balanced debate is made void - anyone who claims they know where all of a certain species lives, without doing a full survey of the entire forest estate (and repeat it time and time again) - something you loggers stopped doing quite conveniently many years ago - has the credibility of someone looking into a crystal ball and determining what tattslotto numbers are going to appear this Saturday night. How is the search for sawlog going, by the way? No chance the forests have been overlogged is there??

Forest Truth not Green Lies said...

Hello Anonymous,
I beleive i said LBP habitat not actual populations of possums - that would be impossible with such a cryptic aboreal marsupial.
The Royston Range is actually predominantly 1939 regrowth with smaller discrete areas of older age forest (which are either already in modelled SPZs or are excluded from harvest following identification) , not to mention cool temperate rainforest(which is not LBP habitat!).
I think if you read the central highlands forest management plan, you will find that LBP habitat is reserved. How does a map of the area prove anything one way or the other, i dont understand?
What do you imply when you say a "full survey"? Even researchers of LBP ecology and almost every other branch of ecology rely on something called "SAMPLING", perhaps you should look into this.

I would prefer that people are searching (and harvesting)for sawlog in Victoria (and every other state of Australia) rather than importing illegaly logged timber from SE Asian rainforests (which we actually import more of each year than we harvest locally).

By limiting the volume of native forest timber harvested domestically ( i am not advocating a free for all either, before you jump on me for saying this) for somewhat dubious green arguments, we are impinging further upon forests that dont have the levels of protection and scrutiny afforded here in Victoria.
The good old "not in my backyard" mentality is alive and well.

Peter Campbell said...

Dear Forest truth not green lies,

Thanks your comments.

Leadbeater's possum is an endangered species, and its habitat is being logged - including Melbourne's water catchments such as Armstrong Creek and Cement Creek. While some areas of its habitat are included in the Yarra Ranges National Park, this is not enough to guarantee its survival - logging in all its remaining habitat should cease.

Regarding SE Asian rainforests - these are also worthy of protection. We should be setting a good example of protecting forests in Victoria, like New Zealand and Queensland have, rather than the current bad example of clearfell logging and burning, and pretending that this is somehow "good management".

Anonymous said...

Approximately 80% of the current LBP population in the Central Highlands lives in forests currently zoned for harvesting. Only 20% of the approx. 2,500 animals live in protected areas of the Yarra Ranges National Park.
The last LBP in captivity anywhere in the world died last week and there is now no animals to continue the vital captive breeding program. Zoos Victoria has declined to progress this need and should also be lobbied. Contact Healesville Sanctuary
(03)5957 2800 to discuss the lack of a captive breeding program for Victoria's endangered mammal emblem. There is now also a very active group called Friends of Leadbeater's Possum Inc. and they are also lobbying for changes in forestry practices, captive breeding program etc. Contact: blair@nex.net.au