Possums need forest
A SCIENTIFIC report on Greater Glider possums, released by the Arthur Rylah Institute and Victorian State Government, has mirrored the long standing opinions of many local conservationists.
The report shows the Strathbogie forests are of statewide importance for the ongoing survival of the nationally endangered Greater Glider possum.
Key findings of the report include the Strathbogie forests’ support for a large and regionally important population of Greater Gliders (in the order of 70,000 individuals).
The glider population in the Strathbogie Forest has not suffered the declines that have occurred in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland, emphasizing the conservation importance of the Strathbogie Forest population.
Many parts of the Strathbogie Forest support Greater Glider numbers that exceed the population-density threshold which is used by the Victorian Government to trigger forest protection in other parts of the state.
Bertram Lobert, a spokesperson for the Save our Strathbogie Forest group, said it is tragic knowing that the Government had this report last summer and could have halted the logging of some of the best quality forest left in the Strathbogie Ranges.
“Instead, it went ahead despite the scientific evidence and allowed the destruction of prime habitat of Greater Gliders and other threatened native wildlife,” Mr Lobert said.
“Now, with the public release of the report we hope that the Andrews Government will act on its findings and immediately ensure the protection of all parts of the forest identified as important habitat for this endangered animal.
“The Andrews Government totally failed to deliver on its biodiversity protection commitments in its first term of office and had the dubious achievement of being the worst performing government in more than sixty years in terms of adding to the conservation reserve estate.”
Mr Lobert hopes that with the findings of the report, there is urgency to refresh the Andrews Government to make good its commitments in the Biodiversity Plan and 2018 Election Platform to saving threatened species and protecting public land with important conservation values. CHIPPED AWAY: Part of the Barjarg Flat coupe which was logged.