Save our Strathbogie Forest and Euroa Environment conservation groups have condemned the planned burns scheduled for Strathbogie Forest this autumn for their failure to ensure protection of the nationally endangered Greater Glider possum, a species protected under state and national environment laws.
“It is ironic that in 2019 we succeeded in having these forests declared a formal protection area by the Andrews Government to help conserve the Greater Glider and other iconic species and the same government Department is now planning to burn nearly 2000 hectares of glider habitat” said Ms Shirley Saywell, spokesperson for the groups. And what we know from the Victorian conservation department’s research and our own surveys is that these burns will remove hundreds, perhaps thousands of habitat trees from these burn areas, leading to the death of more than 450 individual Greater Gliders. Is this how we are meant to care for our threatened species?”
Ms Saywell adds “Already this gliding possum has endured an estimated population decline of more than 50% in the last 21 years and 20% since the 2019-20 mega-fires. And now the Andrews Government is sinking the boots into one of the last healthy populations of this animal left in Victoria by burning its homes. We do not think that this reckless action is how the public expect our government to look after threatened species and urge the Premier and Environment Minister to halt these planned burns now.”
Local ecologist Bertram Lobert, who is also passionate about the forest adds, “The Greater Glider uses hollows in large habitat trees to den – it’s where they live and spend all their time when they’re not out feeding. When these trees catch alight and collapse from a planned burn, animals in those hollows die. We know from the government’s own research how many of these habitat trees are likely to collapse and in areas where there are large numbers of these gliding possums, it’s possible to estimate how many will be killed by the burn. 400 to 450 gliders killed is the lower end of the estimate for this year’s proposed burns. Depending on how the burns go, it could be higher. And then there’s next year and the year after etc! It’s a brutal way to ‘manage’ a forest!”
In our area around Guildford/Castlemaine, all that happens to the bush after a prescribed burn is that the regrowth is far thicker and much more flammable. Inspections with officers of the department have proved this and yet they persist.
Hope you have a better result and you can protect the gliders.
Can someone please remind me WHY we’re still burning things, especially wood, in the middle of the climate and extinction emergencies?! This is absolutely ludicrous! How many people IN ADDITION TO THE GLIDERS will die from the resulting pollution?!
Come on Labor, don’t do this!