MEDIA RELEASE 1 September 2023
The North East Forest Alliance is appealing to the Environment Protection Authority to re-instate the requirement for pre-logging nocturnal surveys to identify den trees for the Endangered Southern Greater Glider, given that the EPA have justified stopping logging in Tallaganda State Forest on the grounds that the Forestry Corporation have not identified all their den trees.
Across the north-coast of NSW the Forestry Corporation have not identified a single Southern Greater Glider den tree since 2018 in any of the 85,000 ha of native forests they are actively, and proposing, logging this year1, because in 2018 the requirements for pre-logging surveys for most species were removed, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) an immediate Stop Work Order to cease harvesting in parts of the Tallaganda State Forest following the finding of a dead Southern Greater Glider adjacent to a logging area.
The EPA identify that the Endangered Southern Greater Glider require multiple hollow-bearing trees as ‘den trees’, and that ‘FCNSW is required to protect them and implement 50 metre exclusion zones around identified den trees’.
The EPA justify their Stop Work Order on the grounds that ‘FCNSW has identified only one den tree and we are not confident that habitat surveys have been adequately conducted to ensure all den trees are identified’.
“Conversely, brief surveys undertaken for NEFA have so far identified 7 den trees for Southern Greater Glider within 4 of the proposed logging areas2.
“Our surveys are not comprehensive, though they demonstrate the need to look before you log if there is a genuine intent to save species from extinction, Mr. Pugh said.
“In Bulga State Forest our citizen science surveys have identified two Greater Glider den trees and we have seen many Greater Gliders. It appears that as a relatively unburnt patch of forest, Bulga may be a stronghold for the species. The point is, nobody knows until somebody looks. It’s outrageous that the previous Government removed the requirement for pre-logging surveys. And there has never been adequate protection for the Greater Glider. Maybe this Stop Work Order at Tallaganda could signal a turnaround,” said Susie Russell.
“Our surveys have been hampered by the Forestry Corporation’s refusal to give us permission to undertake fauna surveys on State forests.
“They clearly do not want to know where threatened species are because they may need to protect them.
“We have appealed to the Minister for Forests, Tara Moriarty, to direct her department to give us permission to survey for threatened species” Ms Russell said.
“Rather than relying on community groups to do their job, we have asked the Ministers for Environment and Forestry to direct the EPA to change the logging rules to specifically require pre-logging surveys for Southern Greater Glider and Koala, and to require protection of all significant habitat.
“Its time for this government to stump up for Southern Greater Gliders” Mr. Pugh said