Koalas face carnage as loggers harvest timber plantations
Although the logging industry has claimed contractors were not deliberately hurting koalas, it is understood in some circumstances koalas are being knocked from trees, squashed and caught up in mechanical shredding machinery.
Where are the koala / wildlife spotters to check that each and every tree that is to harvested does not have a rsident koala? Are there no protocols to ensure safety of all wildlife?
It is understood when the sprawling bluegum estates were planted around 15 to 20 years ago, there was little knowledge the hardwood plantations would become a significant refuge and a new food source for koalas.
However when you have a plantation of known koala habitat trees then surely it must signal strong possibility that koalas would move in to enjoy young green leaves? Koalas do not eat all gums. In fact of over 700 species of eucalypts koalas eat less than 20 species of gums!
According to a national academic, the issue is also now becoming a global issue given koalas are an "international icon". Koala expert Dr Stephen Phillips, who is a member of the Federal Government's Koala Abundance Working Group, said the emerging situation was "unfortunate" given the plantation estates were the way of the future and important economically for regional communities.
"They have a right to harvest, I certainly wouldn't like to see that change, that would be ridiculous," Dr Phillips said.
As with all of our industry rights, they must adapt to changing conditions. All timber plantations must be grown and harvested sustainably - that means not only in the fastest manner for greatest profit but with regard for all uses and users of the forest.
We thank the whistleblowers for alerting us to the blatent disregard the industry has shown for our native wildlife and exposing the horrendous animal cruelty to the iconic koala and other wildlife in the plantations. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC ,Broadcast: 22/07/2013 with Reporter: Greg Hoy contains some graphic images and sounds of distressed koala. Watch here http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3808542.htm. Transcript is also available of the interview.
Across the centre and south-west of Victoria and in South Australia, we, ABC, visited many volunteer animal refuges struggling without help from industry or government to cope with casualties.
TRACEY WILSON: Broken limbs, impact wounds, broken backs, severed arm. Dead mothers with joeys that are still alive, trying to survive. I had one 500 gram joey, about this big (demonstrates size with hands) that had two healed broken arms. And so we can only assume from that that the mother had been dropped previous to this incident and she had no obvious breaks, but her intestines were just pulp.
Koala carers have rescued and saved many - only to be released - as required - back in close proximity of plantation.
The cost of care and rehabilitation for rescued koalas is carried by volunteer not for profit groups.
Spotted tail quoll have recently been found in Scenic Rim and evidence ie latine scats were found in Logan. These are two of wildlife threatened by changes to legislation by Newnan government which have potential to destroy most of our natural bushland areas in SEQ South east Queensland and without their habitat our wildlife will not survive. All bushland areas provide valuable food and shelter for species listed as threatened, those that are vulnerable and those regarded as 'common'. Unfortunately with reduction of 'green tape' even common species could disappear and these are also food sources for the predators higher up the food chain.
Our organization is regarded by some as extreme and anti-development, however we do support ecological sustainable development, and accounting for the value of natural capital. Many scientific studies and reports - peer reviewed and published - support our concerns. It is extraordinary that scientists with expertise in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development have publicly expressed grave concerns about the future impacts of proposed changes to Queensland's Vegetation Management Act and the Water Act. See their website http://concernedqldscientists.wordpress.com/.
Vegetation Mananagement Framework Bill - passed State Parliament Tuesday 21 May 2013. Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said in a statement issued to Queensland Country Life that the passing of the Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill 2013 marked the beginning of a new era of sustainable agricultural production in Queensland
In addition World Wildlife Fund have produced WWF Report – Bushland at risk of renewed clearing in Queensland. Read it here.
Prominent among threatened species are the koala, Glossy black-cockatoo, Spotted-tailed and northern quolls. Many of us "do the right thing" but equally we are not necessarily well informed. What do farmers understand by sustainable agriculture?
The traditional big agribusiness is not sustainable when all costs are accounted. Dollars certainly count but who will pay long term when land becomes desert - as has happened.
Santa has been a regular visitor to the privately owned Berrinba Sanctuary over the years but this year he is celebrating with the owners opening its gates to the wider community.
Visitors on the day will be treated to a range of activities and children will receive a free gift from Santa. Read about the festivities on WEEKEND NOTES. Read article here.
This an open day but not official opening day - that is yet to be planned and will be a very very special day for wildlife caring community.
Lots of fun, buy your lunch, listen to the singers, enjoy the natural bushland setting and maybe see a koala snoozing in nearby tree.
You willan Australian carnivorous marsupial even rarer than our vulnerable koala - a captive bred Dasyurus maculatus - the Australian native cat - or spotted-tailed QUOLL, Tiger quoll, tiger cat, yarri (in Herbert River District), burrumbil (Mulgrave River and Atherton Tablelands, north Queensland). Wildlife Queenslandprovide information about the quoll here.
You will meet many people who care about Australia's unique wildlife and the essential habitat needed for them to survive. Berrinba Sanctuary - on the edge of Logan not far from Karawatha Forest which is part the recently gazetted wildlife corridor Flinders Karawatha Corridor - is home to many such flora and fauna.
The LNP has approved the Loganlea to Jimboomba High Voltage Power Line. This time next year we will POTENTIALLY have huge concrete poles throughout Logan Village & Jimboomba. See first-hand the poles that will damage our environment, make our community less liveable & make our power bills even more expensive. Please come to Jimboomba Sub-station on Camp Cable Rd (opposite Maryland Rd). Saturday, 1st December at 1.00pm. Show your Xmas spirit & support those people directly affected – it will only take about 20 minutes.
IT IS NOT A SINGLE ISOLATED ISSUE! ALL OF US will be impacted by poor decisions - especially local wildlife that are little valued by many unless as a specimen in a zoo.
COME ALONG TO PROTECT LOCAL KOALAS who co-exist harmoniously with local landholders, and also the cryptic elusive quoll.
COME ALONG TO PROTEST FURTHER DEGRADATION OF LOGAN RIVER
- 5 or more crossings
This time next year should be subject to all approvals being met by conditions imposed by federal compliance agencies for EBPC Act. Because LACA Logan and Albert Conservation Association communicates our concerns to federal agencies wherever matters of national significance are concerned ie quolls and more recently koalas, Energex is aware that they are required to refer the matter to the department.
When the matter is referred it will be open for public comment on the departments website
TIME FOR COMMENT IS ONLY 10 DAYS so we need to make sure we can submit on time. This being so I am concerned about the minister's statement that
'Energex would begin preliminary works before the end of the year, with the project expected to be completed toward the end of 2014.' Possibly refers to obtaining land from landowners. No Christmas cheer there!
Having this happen over Christmas period also challenges us to be aware of opportunity to put in submissions.
VETO group high hopes and expectation that sense would prevail and Minister Mark McArdle would reject the Energex proposed second Loganlea to Jimboomba 110kV powerline crashed Tuesday evening when a media release from the Minister advised that he has approved this powerline.
The image aside was taken outside the survey days.
A mother and its young and 2 males were identified indicating a healthy breeding koala colony.
90 hectares of pristine koala habitat with a healthy population is an environmentally significant biodiversity asset for Logan City and indeed the world.
This property is adjacent to Berrinba Wetlands which, according to Logan City Council is being preserved by design with 80 of 120 hectares being protected and rehabilitated. While Council's intentions here may be commendable it is disconcerting that future planning for the adjacent 90 hectares of natural bushland - having the same or more environmental values is not so fortunate.
It is of great concern to our conservation group Logan and Albert Conservation Association LACA that most planning is done without adequate knowledge of the biodiversity and ecosystem services present across the landscape. It is also disconcerting that landscapes without human habitat - greenfield areas, are regarded as available for development. To have a major freight motorway dissect koala habitat is untenable.
Such is the case for Berrinba Sanctuary. The HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL (HSI) / Wildlife Land Trust (WLT) recently added the Browns plains property to those other properties being managed as WILDIFE SANCTUARIES - 47 in Queensland covering19,947 hectares.
Some of the values and biodiversity present at Berrinba Sanctuary are available at this page. The longterm survival of this group of koalas is vital to the survival of koalas in Logan and Southest Queensland.
What are your / our values and vision for Logan? Do they include natural landscape areas - connected across the lanscape for safe animal movement - or are we letting someone else decide for us? If we are not mindful then we are in danger of having our paradise paved.
The World Bank has published an educational graphic explaining the main challenges faced by biodiversity conservation efforts, as well as the value of biodiversity for humankind.The infographic presents species decline rates, main threats to biodiversity, why biodiversity matters, and signs of hope, which derive from the declaration of protected areas around the world and private sector investments in biodiversity.
Click on image aside to see infographic.
Biodiversity conservation, protecting vulnerable landscapes and sustaining livelihoods in developing countries are all projects to receive funding from World Bank.
Overexploitation, habitat destruction, introduced invasive species all contribute to loss of biodiversity - worldwide - and especially in SEQ South East Queenland - a biodiversity hotspot.
Clearing greenfield areas to replace with human settlement preceived needs - housing, roads, hard infrastructure items will destroy the values that draw people to SEQ.
A healthy functioning ecosystem depends on the long term survival of the species which have adapted to live in the area. Maintaining these healthy ecosystems is esssential for human health and well being.
Bushland areas and wetlands provide more than visual amenity. Clean air, clean water and productive soils with their living creatures provide the comfortable liveability of our human places.
At a local level LACA has been alerted to proposed changes to extend the urban footprint in SEQ. This is alarming and LACA's immediate response has been to send a letter to the Premier, and Deputy-Premier Hon. Jeff Seeney MP Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. Our already endangered koala could face further threats.
Logan is home to endangered and vulnerable wildlife such as the iconic koala and spotted-tail quoll. However unless residents and the community help local council and government to identify where these animals are, it is very likely that they may become extinct.
Two confirmed roadkill established the existance of the quoll in the west Logan area including Greenbank, Park Ridge and Chambers Flat suburbs.
Many of us have never heard of a QUOLL, an Australian carnivorous marsupial and there are few opportunities to see one as they are usually nocturnal. Wildlife Logan with Quoll Seekers' Network recently held a community information meeting for which a live captive-bred quoll was a highlight. Image above shows the resident quoll at Queens Park Ipswich - well worth a visit.
What is the rampant growth which threatens these cryptic elusive creatures? Greenbank UDA in Teviot Downs - opposed by the Save Greenbank community, ULDA satellite cities of Greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba, proposed energy corridor along Logan River - opposed by VETO, proposed GATEWAY Extension Extension aka Park Ridge Connector. In addition we have a piece of Linkwater water infrastructure - Cedar Grove to Karawatha pipeline which cuts through Quoll and Koala Habitat and Wetlands.
If we value the community and environment where we live and want our grandchildren to enjoy the same then we need to communicate that clearly to our elected representatives.
Now is the time to SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT. LACA Logan and Albert Conservation Association Inc can help you. Contact us. Come along to our meetings. We are not funded by government and all members are volunteers. We'd love you to join us to share our values more widely.
Koala populations that used to be vibrant and sustainable are facing local extinction. Inadequate government legislation is to be held acountable for this. Queensland has failed to do anything meaningful about the decline. Whether the newly elected government will improve the odds for koalas remains a question. The federal government needs to get involved and do it properly, listing the koala as vulnerable to extinction. Such a designation might save the last remnants of critical koala habitat. Without habitat to provide a local food source the plight of the koala is bleak.
A recent report presented to the Australian Senate made several recommendations to save the koalas, including
listing the animals as threatened and vulnerable,
funding a program to monitor koala populations,
mapping their habitat, and
managing federal and private lands to protect the koalas.
All are essential and critical. Meanwhile local koala care groups in eastern Australia struggle to rescue rehabilitate and release recovered animals. Legislation requires that the koala is returned to its home range - a challenging exercise when widespread clearing for human settlement has occurred - or mining. The efforts of grassroots koala emergency squads will always be essential but individual carers must also be supported for expenses incurred.
The more koalas we lose, the more valuable each rescued koala becomes. The May edition of National Geographic relates some of the extraordinary challenges faced and meet by koala rescuers carers and local research people such as Deidré de Villiers who shares her home with recovering adults juveniles or dependant joeys. You can read their story here. Deidre has presented at past Logan and Albert Conservation Association workshops about learning to live harmoniously with koalas and other wildlife. It is possible if we are prepared to make some adjustments to the way we currently go about our daily lives.
THIS IS YOUR HOME YOUR COMMUNITY WHERE YOU LIVE IN HARMONY WITH LOCAL FREE ROAMING WILDLIFE - kangaroos koalas frogs redbacked fairy wrens and even the elusive cryptic carnivorous quoll has been seen by some lucky residents, reptiles gliders and powerful owls to name some of our wildlife species.
Unfortunately the planners and consultants do not share our vision and our values. If decisions are left to them our descendants will only see wildlife in zoos.
Elsewhere on our single planet we are talking about sustainable development where the ecosystem services provided by the natural environment are valued and preservation of those services is prized.