Powerful Owl (Image Duncan Fraser)
You’ve got to be joking, right? VicForests are spruiking the importance of firewood as a sustainable product from Parlour’s Creek coupe. Is firewood really such an important part of their business model?
Which kind of means that they’re logging Powerful Owl and Greater Glider habitat for firewood!
Minister d’Ambrosio – can you and your Department of Environment honestly endorse this action? After years of telling us how important it is to have sawlogs for the booming native hardwood industry (NOT!), VicForests have trotted out a contractor to tell us he’s logging some of the richest forest left on the Strathbogie Ranges for firewood, FIREWOOD?! Continue reading
You might have read in a previous post, that VicForests conducted a pre-logging Koala survey in Parlour’s coupe, though they incorrectly concluded that there were no Koalas living in the coupe. The pre-harvest survey methods employed are themselves interesting, but aren’t dealt with here.
VicForests’ Koala Management guidelines rely on two things:
1. That Koalas in tall forests can be reliably and effectively detected.
2. That the contractor logging the forests is suitably skilled, qualified and has the incentive to detect Koala sign and then interpret what it means.
Let’s examine the assumptions.
1. Can Koalas be located in tall forests?
Spot the Koala in this Narrow-Leaf Peppermint – see it?
Finding Koalas in the canopy of a tall forest is always difficult, whether it’s daytime or night; the most skilled observer will always miss some. The taller the trees, the harder the task and the greater the likelihood of error. To add to the difficulty, tree canopies in forests are usually at least partly obscured by other trees, leaves and branches – not like the roadside tree in this pic. In short, it’s impossible to assess anything more than presence/absence of Koalas in tall forests – as VicForests’ survey has shown.
Then there’s the Koala scat survey. Koala scats are about 15 mm long, 8 mm thick and look a little bit like leaf litter. Here are images of Koala scats and the forest where Conservation Biologists and logging contractors are supposed to look. What chance? Continue reading