The vulnerable Marbled Frogmouth has been further endangered by recent logging in Koreelah State Forest, according to a local conservation group, and if the loggers continue on their path the endangered Fleay’s Barred Frog will be next.
In all, four threatened species are in the path of the loggers, according to members of the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), who visited the forest on the weekend.
They described some five hectares of old-growth forest, which is part of the loggers’ target, as ‘magnificent’.
For the second time in three months NEFA is calling for a halt to logging in this core habitat Koreelah State Forest while independent surveys are undertaken.
Spokesperson for NEFA, Dailan Pugh, said the group wrote to state and federal ministers in June asking for logging to be halted while adequate surveys for threatened species were undertaken in Koreelah State Forest.
‘At that time we found that logging had occurred in areas that should have been protected for the nationally vulnerable koala and the NSW vulnerable Albert’s Lyrebird.
‘It was apparent to us that a number of regionally endemic threatened species had not been adequately surveyed for by the Forestry Corporation and were likely to occur in areas proposed for logging.
‘Disgracefully, neither the state nor federal governments were prepared to ensure that adequate surveys were undertaken.
‘It should not be up to a voluntary conservation group to undertake surveys to identify the presence of threatened species so that required prescriptions are applied to limit logging impacts,’ Mr Pugh said.
The group is calling for voters to think about wildlife on when they go to the polls on Saturday (7 September), which is also national Threatened Species Day.
The date commemorates the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger (also known as the thylacine) at Hobart Zoo in 1936.
‘We are in the midst of an extinction crisis. On Threatened Species Day we elect our next federal government; we implore people to consider the fate of the numerous threatened species in this region when they cast their votes,’ Mr Pugh said.
‘Unfortunately there is not much to choose from. The ALP members for Richmond and Page have repeatedly stood aside while prescriptions are watered down and critical habitat destroyed for nationally threatened species. The National Party candidates have made it clear that they think the NSW state government should be allowed to do whatever they want.
‘Barnaby Joyce and Kevin Hogan have even supported the opening up of National Parks for logging,’ Mr Pugh said.
Koreelah State Forest is on the NSW–Queensland border near the juncture of the Border and Great Dividing ranges, 15 kilometres northwest of Woodenbong, and the habitat of threatened species is required to be protected in accordance with the NSW–Commonwealth North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement.
The Threatened Species Licence requires the application of prescriptions to increase the protection of riparian habitat for the Fleay’s Barred Frog and Marbled Frogmouth.