Our native forests are home to some very special wildlife that exist nowhere else in the world.
Sadly, many species are threatened with extinction and their remaining refuges continue to be logged and destroyed.
The south-west of WA is internationally recognised (alongside the Galapagos Islands and Borneo's rainforests) as a Global Biodiversity Hotspot. To be listed as a Biodiversity Hotspot an area has to be very rich in animal and plant life diversity. It must also have lost 70% or more of its natural vegetation. The south-west has lost 80%.
We need new laws in WA that protect wildlife and their habitat from degradation and loss.
Over the past decade at least 18 forest dependent species, including the Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Baudin's Cockatoo, have become more endangered in WA. Habitat loss is the major threat to their survival and yet no State or Federal legislation exists to protect threatened fauna from logging operations.
Logging and post-logging fires destroy vital food supplies, shelter and nesting sites that forest wildlife need to survive and breed. Foxes and cats move in after logging, preying on the surviving, vulnerable wildlife.
Phytophthora cinnamomi, a forest disease commonly known as dieback, is spread by logging operations. Dieback kills trees and shrubs, further reducing habitat. Soil compaction from logging machinery has widespread and long-term impacts.
Industry continually breaches logging guidelines
Clearfelling and other intensive logging practices destroy complex ecosystems that have taken millennia to develop. The guidelines for retaining habitat trees are woefully inadequate, and even these guidelines are routinely breached.
The WA Forest Alliance (WAFA) has documented numerous breaches of logging guidelines, such as logging old growth forest, destroying trees marked for habitat retention, and logging in stream reserves.
WAFA has provided evidence of breaches such as these to the Minister for Environment, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and the Forest Products Commission (FPC). In fact, DEC and FPC have documented hundreds of breaches themselves, but in the absence of any adequate enforcement powers, very little if anything is done. Breaches pile up and habitat continues to be destroyed.
Our forests are worth more standing
With our forests and forest wildlife facing so many threats, we have a responsibility to do all we can to protect them and leave a legacy we can be proud of. It makes no sense to continue logging our world renowned, magnificent and vulnerable native forests. Our forests are worth more standing and with so much at stake it is vital that we protect them. Act Now.
Images T-B: Bobbi Marchini, Panda Broad, Alison Cassanet, John Austin