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Chapter 6 Experiment

Scientific Whaling of Our Frog

baw baw frog log

Chapter 6.pdf-download here

Summary

In 1996, significant populations of the critically endangered Baw Baw Frog were discovered in the State Forests on the southern escarpments of Mount Baw Baw (Hollis 2004). In response, the Central Highlands Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) called for an interim ‘precautionary approach’ to be taken in forest above the 1000m contour where coupes would not be logged where Baw Baw Frogs were known to occur and additional buffering would be implemented around known sites. The Central Highlands RFA calls for further study on the species, including surveying the response of the species to ‘disturbance in Montane Wet Forest’ (Commonwealth of Australia 1998). The Baw Baw Frog Action Statement and the Baw Baw Frog Draft Recovery Plan later referred the ‘response to disturbance’ as ‘experimental timber harvesting’, upon where the habitat of Baw Baw Frog occurring within the Montane Forests around Mount Baw Baw would be logged employing various methods of silviculture, including clearfelling. Following this, monitoring is to take place to establish whether the critically endangered species can survive logging within their habitat. This chapter explores the issues surrounding the experiment under the following sections:

• Logging Experiment Overview (Section 6.2)

• Scientific Critique (Section 6.3)

• The Baw Baw Frog Recovery Plan and the EPBC Act 1999 (Section 6.4)

• The Baw Baw Frog Action Statement (Section 6.5)

• Logging within the Baw Baw Frog Habitat after the RFA (Section 6.6)

The experiment commenced in December 2004 despite it not yet being approved by the Federal Environment Minister. However, the experiment was placed under an informal moratorium within days of commencing as a result of opposition from scientists and environmental Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s). Associate Professor Jean-Marc Hero described the ‘experiment’ to the Victorian Government as ‘ludicrous at best and unethical at worst’, as the species has been found to be extremely sensitive to environmental change (Statement in Appendix 6).

Scientific Whaling of Our Frog

baw baw frog log

Chapter 6.pdf-download here

Summary

In 1996, significant populations of the critically endangered Baw Baw Frog were discovered in the State Forests on the southern escarpments of Mount Baw Baw (Hollis 2004). In response, the Central Highlands Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) called for an interim ‘precautionary approach’ to be taken in forest above the 1000m contour where coupes would not be logged where Baw Baw Frogs were known to occur and additional buffering would be implemented around known sites. The Central Highlands RFA calls for further study on the species, including surveying the response of the species to ‘disturbance in Montane Wet Forest’ (Commonwealth of Australia 1998). The Baw Baw Frog Action Statement and the Baw Baw Frog Draft Recovery Plan later referred the ‘response to disturbance’ as ‘experimental timber harvesting’, upon where the habitat of Baw Baw Frog occurring within the Montane Forests around Mount Baw Baw would be logged employing various methods of silviculture, including clearfelling. Following this, monitoring is to take place to establish whether the critically endangered species can survive logging within their habitat. This chapter explores the issues surrounding the experiment under the following sections:

• Logging Experiment Overview (Section 6.2)

• Scientific Critique (Section 6.3)

• The Baw Baw Frog Recovery Plan and the EPBC Act 1999 (Section 6.4)

• The Baw Baw Frog Action Statement (Section 6.5)

• Logging within the Baw Baw Frog Habitat after the RFA (Section 6.6)

The experiment commenced in December 2004 despite it not yet being approved by the Federal Environment Minister. However, the experiment was placed under an informal moratorium within days of commencing as a result of opposition from scientists and environmental Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s). Associate Professor Jean-Marc Hero described the ‘experiment’ to the Victorian Government as ‘ludicrous at best and unethical at worst’, as the species has been found to be extremely sensitive to environmental change (Statement in Appendix 6).

Baw Baw Report Chapter 6 Experiment