NSW forestry agency ordered to stop logging after greater glider found dead | Endangered species

The state-owned New South Wales forestry company has been ordered to instantly cease logging in components of a state forest after the Atmosphere Safety Authority discovered a useless higher glider – an endangered species – close by.

Conservation teams had written to the state authorities and EPA to analyze Forestry Company logging within the Tallaganda state forest, east of Canberra, because it was one of many final recognized strongholds of the southern higher glider.

The EPA stated it inspected a number of energetic logging areas within the forest on Tuesday after receiving a criticism and located a useless glider about 50m from the place Forestry Company was working.

It ordered all logging, haulage and street and monitor development work within the space to cease for a minimum of 40 days whereas the loss of life was investigated.

The EPA’s appearing govt director operations, Steve Orr, stated the reason for the glider’s loss of life was not recognized, but it surely was “extremely concerning”. The species has been more and more reliant on unburnt forest areas after its habitat was severely broken within the black summer time bushfires almost 4 years in the past, he stated.

The higher glider is Australia’s largest gliding marsupial, with our bodies as much as 45cm lengthy and furry, prehensile tails that stretch one other 60cm. It was listed as endangered in 2022 after shedding vital components of its habitat to bushfire, drought, land-clearing and logging. Scientists estimate its inhabitants has fallen by about 80% in 20 years in some areas.

Logging machinery in in Tallaganda state forest.
Logging equipment in in Tallaganda state forest. {Photograph}: Wilderness Australia

Orr stated the Forestry Company was required to guard and implement 50m logging exclusion zones round massive “den trees” that gliders relied on for meals and shelter.

“While community reports suggest around 400 southern greater gliders may be living in the Tallaganda State Forest, [Forestry Corporation] has identified only one den tree,” he stated. “We are not confident that habitat surveys have been adequately conducted to ensure all den trees are identified.

“The EPA has a strong compliance and enforcement program for native forestry, and we will take immediate action where warranted, including issuing stop work orders for alleged non-compliance.”

Atmosphere teams praised the EPA and state surroundings minister Penny Sharpe for appearing swiftly, and known as for it to make the native forest logging ban everlasting.

Rachel Lowry, the chief conservation officer with World Extensive Fund for Nature Australia, stated it confirmed that promised environmental legislation reform wanted to be accelerated “if Australia wants to live by our nation’s commitment to zero extinctions”.

“We applaud all our supporters and the many community groups who have mobilised to expose this destruction,” Lowry stated. “The fact that it had to come to this, an actual sighting of a deceased, endangered animal, is beyond sad.”

Bob Debus, the chair of the group Wilderness Australia and a former Labor state surroundings minister, stated the group had “long been concerned at the apparent efforts of the Forestry Corporation to undermine environmental policy in NSW”.

“As a publicly owned body, the Forestry Corporation should be attempting to miminise environmental damage during logging operations. Instead, they appear to be deliberately targeting the areas of highest conservation value within the state forest estate for destruction,” Debus stated.

Forestry Company was requested for its response. Earlier this week it stated the forestry operation within the forest had been rigorously deliberate beneath the foundations that govern it.

The state Greens MP Sue Higginson stated she had additionally raised considerations in regards to the logging with the EPA. “This should serve as a warning to the Forestry Corporation that their reckless logging practices are unacceptable,” she stated. “These forests are worth so much more to NSW when they’re standing.”

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