The Forestry Company searched a NSW forest for higher gliders through the day, when the endangered animals would have been asleep.
The state-owned enterprise has defended its actions after a glider was just lately discovered useless 50 metres from harvesting operations within the Tallaganda State Forest, east of Canberra.
The company plans to log what is among the final strongholds for the imperilled species, which final 12 months slipped from threatened to endangered.
However the Setting Safety Company has slapped it with two successive 40-day cease work orders amid issues over its efforts to protect hole den bushes the gliders must survive.
The watchdog says the company’s pre-harvest habitat survey recognized only one den tree within the forest, a refuge that escaped the Black Summer season fires.
‘What the necessities require’
It stated it had no confidence the work was adequately carried out and the EPA’s personal efforts have since recognized 20 den bushes, with 89 gliders sighted.
The company has defended its conduct on Friday, saying it has complied with all laws and there’s no requirement to hold out survey work at evening, when nocturnal gliders are lively.
“We’re working in keeping with what the necessities require us to do,” a spokeswoman stated.
“It’s known as a broad space habitat search, so they’re looking for threatened fauna in addition to flora.
“They do carry them out through the day as a result of they could must do some species identification of say a tree or a shrub … they don’t seem to be simply looking for a selected nocturnal species.”
She stated den bushes had been strictly outlined and it meant somebody needed to bodily see a glider coming into or leaving. She famous many extra hole bushes which may the truth is be den bushes had been retained.
“(There are) 5400 bushes hollow-bearing bushes which can be marked and guarded and they don’t seem to be going to be harvested.”
Three conservation teams just lately went into the forest and located 17 den bushes over a small space, however their survey work was performed from nightfall into the evening.
Important 50-metre distinction
WWF-Australia, Wilderness Australia and South East Forest Rescue say hollow-bearing habitat bushes aren’t protected in the identical means den bushes are.
Den bushes should be given a 50-metre exclusion zone however habitat bushes might be left standing in a wholly denuded panorama.
They’ve welcomed the motion by the EPA however say it’s time for the NSW authorities to intervene.
“The Minns authorities should now discover an acceptable technique to completely defend the habitat of this endangered species stronghold,” the teams stated.
“We hope that Tallaganda State Forest, as a nationwide biodiversity hotspot, will likely be protected in Nationwide Park within the close to future.”
A spokesman for NSW Setting Minister Penny Sharpe stated it was a regulatory matter for the EPA.
The EPA stated the foundations governing survey work didn’t prescribe all of the actions required from the company to conform.
“Nonetheless, it does require them to plan, implement and undertake forestry operations in a reliable method, together with to search out and defend all higher glider dens with 50-metre exclusion zones,” it stated.
The matter stays below investigation.