SOS: Virtual Protection for Virtual Koalas Won't Save a Species
"It beggars belief that money is being spent on models for koalas that ignores whether an area has been logged or not, and the age of the trees in the area concerned. Virtual habitat might be good for virtual koalas, but we want to see actual koalas protected"
“The NSW Government needs to issue a clear and categorical directive to its environment and logging agencies that existing populations of koalas in NSW's public forest estate, need to be identified and protected,” said Lorraine Vass from Friends of the Koala.
“Currently there is no such directive, koalas are being killed as their homes are destroyed by logging and its associated problems,” said Lyn Orrego of the Nambucca Valley Conservation Association.
Conservationists from across the north coast met yesterday in Coffs Harbour, with representatives of the Environment Protection Agency to discuss progress on koala mapping and modelling.
“We are deeply concerned that the EPA are intending to get rid of the current requirement to survey for Koalas and protect high use areas from logging, and are instead intending to just require retention of a few extra trees when logging in poorly modelled habitat. The models don't work, we need independent experts to survey for Koalas ahead of logging and identify exclusion areas” said Dailan Pugh of the North East Forest Alliance.
“It beggars belief that money is being spent on models for koalas that ignores whether an area has been logged or not, and the age of the trees in the area concerned. Virtual habitat might be good for virtual koalas, but we want to see actual koalas protected,” said Susie Russell from the North Coast Environment Council.
“The EPA and Forest Corporation need to be told by the Government that the aim of the regulatory framework is to protect existing koala populations. Without that clear directive more public money will be spent on models that offer no hope of saving our koalas from going extinct, as their populations get wiped out, one by one,” said Ashley Love from the Bellingen Environment Centre.
Friends of the Koala
North East Forest Alliance
Clarence Environment Centre
Bellingen Environment Centre
Nambucca Valley Conservation Association