A forest a day! July 14: BS115H, Mount Barrow
BS115H, a 60 hectare logging coupe, is located in north east Tasmania close to the Mount Barrow State Forest Reserve. This area was once home to a strong population (often described in plague proportions) of Tasmanian devils (Owen and Pemberton 2005). This species is now listed as endangered in both the EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) and the TSP (Threatened Species Protection Act Tasmania 1995).
Members of Code Green have been monitoring the Eucalyptus delegatensis forest in BS115H using remote sensor fauna cameras. The results have shown the presence of Tasmanian devils which appear to be healthy and disease free. This is a particularly significant finding for this area, as the devils of north east Tasmania have been impacted most significantly by the effects of the deadly DFTD (devil facial tumour disease). The Save the Devil Program has reported that devil populations in this region of Tasmania have declined by 96% as of February 2011 (Save the Devil Program 2011
Unfortunately for these devils logging has resumed in sections of this coupe since these images were taken. Such logging activity is potentially threatening the habitat of these devils and other populations in the area. This destruction of habitat has continued on this site despite the fact that this forest was promised protection as part of the Conservation Agreement.
Forestry Tasmania have themselves acknowledged that the forests adjacent to this coupe are potential habitat for devils (Forestry Tasmania 2011). Yet logging has been allowed to proceed. The impact of logging operations on devil habitat and in particular sites where maternal dens occur has been inadequately addressed by the current forestry management systems. According to Dr Peter McQuillan ‘no special effort is made to identify and protect devil den sites in Forest Practice Plans’ (McQuillan 2012).
Please CLICK HERE to take action now to ensure that this area and other forests in Tasmania that provide critical habitat are protected.
For more information about the ‘A forest a day’ project, which is a collaboration between Huon Valley Environment Centre, Still Wild Still Threatened, The Last Stand, Markets for Change and Code Green, please click HERE.
Forestry Tasmania (2011) More Disruption, 4th April, 2011
McQuillan, P. (2012), Report 9A: Critical Habitat, Tasmanian Devil Sarcophilus Harrisii
Owen, D. Pemberton, D.(2005)Tasmanian Devil: A Unique and threatened Animal, Allen and Unwin, Melbourne
Save the Devil Program (2011) Mapping the disease [view online]