According to the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) the Commonwealth must intervene to save greater glider, the koala and the yellow-bellied glider from extinction.
NEFA is demanding the Commonwealth urgently remove their approval for the NSW Government to clear and log the homes of koalas and greater gliders now that they have both been listed as nationally Endangered.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh says the greater glider has now been listed by the Federal Government as Endangered. ‘The Threatened Species Scientific Committee says this has happened because of an overall rate of population decline exceeding 50 per cent over a 21-year (three-generation) period, including population reduction and habitat destruction following the 2019–20 bushfires. The Committee further noted that the cumulative impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires, ongoing prescribed burning, timber harvesting and climate change, will continue to put pressure on remaining greater glider habitat.
‘Fire-logging interactions are likely increase risks to greater glider populations.’
Mr Pugh says the Federal Government cannot continue to turn a blind-eye to plight of nationally listed threatened species as NSW drives them to extinction. ’It is equally culpable as co-signatory to the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement which gives blanket approval for clearing and logging of threatened species habitat across public and private lands in north-east NSW.
‘Populations of many of our forest species have been decimated by clearing and logging, and now their depleted populations are being pushed to extinction by the increasing severity of droughts, heatwaves and bushfires.
‘The 2019/20 fires took a huge toll on our forest wildlife, causing massive losses in the heavily burnt forests, leading the Federal Government to list the yellow-bellied glider as Vulnerable in March, the koala as Endangered in May, and now the greater glider as Endangered.
Mr Pugh says the Commonwealth should no longer allow the NSW Government to clear and log the remaining refuges for koalas, greater gliders, and yellow-bellied gliders if it wants to avoid their extinction.
‘The new federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, needs to intervene by changing the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement to restore the requirement for pre-logging surveys to identify where nationally listed threatened species survive, and ensure that clearing and logging is prohibited in their homes.
‘To save our species, we first need to identify where they live, protect their homes and then start restoring their habitat.’