Our fantastic team of citizen scientists recently worked with Gippsland Environment Group (GEG) and Friends of Bats and Habitat Gippsland to survey in forests on First Nations Brabralung Country in Mt Alfred, part of the Gunnai Kurnai Nation. The team conducted habitat tree surveying during the day, recording a number of hollow-bearing trees, which can be terribly impacted by planned burns. Then at night, nocturnal spotlighting surveys discovered new records of greater gliders, yellow-bellied gliders, and the incredibly cute, long-nosed bandicoot.
The surveys were conducted in and adjacent to the planned burn area, which runs right up to the border of the Mitchell River National Park. A huge area of forest in Mt Alfred is set to be burned next year, which would have terrible consequences for the wildlife found there last week. Thanks so much to Gippsland Environment Group and Friends of Bats for your advocacy and work to protect this special area.
One of our member groups, Save Our Strathbogies forest, is currently taking legal action to halt planned burns in the Strathbogie Ranges. The group says;
Countless thousands of big, old hollow-bearing trees, essential for Greater Glider survival, are burnt every year in the name of fire management. Planned burning is about repetition, so after each burn there are fewer hollow-bearing trees left, fewer places for the Gliders to live and breed. The flames, smoke and heat of these burns also pose an immediate threat to the Gliders’ survival. Gliders that are still alive after the burns then face the additional threats of poor nutrition, subsequent tree collapse and degraded habitat.
The group say if the case is successful, it could mean other areas where gliders are found might also be protected from industrial burns. Read more about the case here and donate to help cover the legal costs - every bit counts!
Another one of our members, Kinglake Friends of the Forest, have also launched an online petition calling for an end to broadscale industrial planned burns. They say;
Each year, thousands of hectares of forest and bushland some distance from townships are deliberately burned in an attempt to mitigate bushfire risk. This broadscale burning of forests pours vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, kills wildlife and destroys habitat, causes significant deterioration in air quality, and poisons our waterways. Yet evidence shows that this approach is not only damaging to the climate, human health, and the environment but is also ineffective in reducing bushfire risk.
Worse, studies have shown that the flush of shrubs that follows a prescribed burn can mean increased fire risk and severity that starts in the following two to ten years and continues for decades to come.