VicForests has seemed reluctant to investigate the non-timber values of Parlour’s coupe, even though it’s their statutory responsibility – perhaps they’re worried about what they might find. So, we thought we’d help out. Our citizen science program visited that forest area a number of times in recent years, spotlighting, listening for owls and doing moth and fungi surveys, among other things. We’ve pulled together the information on the two high-profile threatened species that live in that coupe – assessment-of-parlours-coupe140916 (1.8 MB).
- Parlours coupe contains a number of high conservation values, none of which have been adequately considered in the pre-logging planning. Greater Gliders and Powerful Owls both occur in the coupe and the forest itself complies with the DELWP/VicForests definition of High Conservation Value forest.
- VicForests have conducted no on-ground fauna surveys for the above values, yet intend to log the coupe as early as the 19th September 2016 (6 days hence).
- The Planning Standards (DSE 2014) for the North East FMA are out-of-date and seriously inadequate. They make no mention whatsoever of the Greater Glider, which is now listed as threatened in Victoria and under the Federal EPBC Act.
- Greater Glider densities in Parlours coupe are as high as 11.7 individuals/km spotlight transect. These densities are high enough to be regarded as ecologically significant in East Gippsland and elicit special protection from logging (DSE 2014), but in the Strathbogies these values are ignored.
- During three formal visits to the coupe and its immediate environs over the last two years, individual Powerful Owls have been recorded on two occasions. The Parlour’s Creek catchment, including the coupe area is clearly part of a resident owl’s regular home range. The appropriate Special Protection Zone should be investigated and declared.
- There is concern that, although Powerful Owls are considered in the Planning Standards, the Powerful Owl Management Area ‘strategy’ has not been reviewed for some years and that areas set aside for Powerful Owls in the North East may not provide the level of protection intended.
- We urgently recommend that a moratorium be placed on all native forest logging in the Strathbogie Ranges until there has been a comprehensive ecological assessment.
Vicforests’ inaction and indifference to their responsibility is quite staggering, particularly when they’ve repeatedly told us that they take sustainable forest management very seriously. Hmmm.