Action! Critical hollow-bearing trees on chopping block

Action! Critical hollow-bearing trees on chopping block

From Victoria National Parks Association (24/4/24)…

Action! Critical hollow-bearing trees on chopping block

Today, citizen scientists discovered an old hollow-bearing tree on the forest floor. It was destroyed by Forest Fire Management Victoria.

Where? In the Yarra Ranges National Park. And this is just the start of their ongoing operations to ‘upgrade’ 250km of ‘strategic fuel breaks’. They’ve marked 77 more critical habitat trees for the axe.

I don’t know where to start, so I’ll start small. As you likely know, Leadbeater’s Possums are listed as Critically Endangered under national and state nature laws. That’s why their National Recovery Plan was released a month ago. One month.

It promised that within a year plans would be in place so “all large, live and dead trees, and hollow-bearing trees, are progressively identified and effectively protected”.

But instead, FFMV fired up their chainsaws and brought a grandmother tree crashing down. The perfect tree for our endangered wildlife to feed, nest and breed in.

I’ve been out at night surveying the area with other citizen scientists and groups. Leadies, as we affectionately call these elusive critters, were fossicking in the trees marked for removal. We also saw Greater and Yellow-Bellied Gliders, and a Sooty Owl.

Something clearly is broken. Well, a few things are. This is a national park and these breaks were given the green light way back in 2008. A lot has happened between then and now – devastating fires, wildlife pushed to the brink through logging and development.

On top of all that, FFMV operations have virtually no independent oversight or transparency. There is no decent assessment – these rare, hollow-bearing homes should not have been felled.

I don’t know what else to call this absurd habitat destruction but old-growth logging in a national park.


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