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Plantation koala horror triggers question on injuries in native forest logging

The shocking scenes from last night’s ABC 7.30 Report has conservation groups questioning fatalities and injuries of wildlife in native forest logging operations in Victoria. 

Great Glider

Plantation koala horror triggers question on injuries in native forest logging

MyEnvironment Inc. Sarah Rees: 0438 368 870
Friends of the Leadbeater's Possum Steve Meacher: 0447 330 863

 The shocking scenes from last night’s ABC 7.30 Report has conservation groups questioning fatalities and injuries of wildlife in native forest logging operations in Victoria. “Koala are very visible, large animals but what happens if, through logging, you maim or kill an animal sleeping in a hollow? Chances are they won’t receive assistance” stated Steve Meacher, Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum.

“We know from logger’s testimonials and carcasses found on sites, that logging is killing animals, so we are asking that the government investigate how their agency [VicForests] deals with injured wildlife. 

"There are no wildlife surveys conducted before, during or after logging in Victorian government logging operations and this also issue goes to the heart of whether a forestry operation can claim certification under any forestry Standard, not just the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Standard but also the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS)”,  says Sarah Rees, director of rural conservation group MyEnvironment Inc. 

“We understand Minister Peter Walsh is about to announce even greater restrictions on access to logging zones for conservation volunteers, begging the question as to why the Napthine government needs a greater veil of secrecy across the governments logging. What is being covered up ?” said Ms Rees.

"Large animals like the Greater Glider are extremely susceptible to logging, through direct injury and post logging affects* and the public want to know how the government is caring for injured animals." 

 Currently there are no protocols to care for wildlife injured on logging operations.

Recent government surveys by the Arthur Rylah Institute reveal native animals, especially the Gliders, are in dramatic decline in forests open to logging with Gliders in an extremely concerning downspin**. 

Conservation and wildlife groups are writing to the Premier’s office Dr Denis Napthine and Minister for the Environment Ryan Smith for a complete investigation into wildlife cruelty and care matters relating to logging and protocols for injured wildlife 

"Conservation and animal welfare groups will also be making submissions to the Australian Forestry Standard in how it is dealing with animal welfare issues in their forestry audits.

*Australian National University - How to make a common species rare - link to paper

**Government DEPI Survey - Arthur Rylah Institute - Survey link