Sunday, November 22, 2009

Drop in endangered bird numbers sparks worries

Concerns have been raised about a dramatic decrease in endangered bird numbers in Tasmania.

Experts say drought, wildfires and the spread of urban development have contributed to the decline in numbers of the 40-spotted pardelote and the swift parrot.

Conservationist, Sally Bryant, says pardelote, or 40-spot, numbers in the state have dropped significantly over the last decade.

"In areas like Dennes Hill on Bruny Island, where I can remember going down and being flooded by the sound of 40-spots, it's now very quiet, even though the bird is far more easily identifiable there than in some of the small colonies.

"My first reaction and certainly what the statistics are showing is that the numbers are very low," Ms Bryant said.

Conservationists want the Tasmanian Government to save the habitats of endangered bird species on Bruny Island.

Peter McGlone from the Conservation Trust says logging of the parrot's habitat should be stopped now, instead of waiting for the completion of industry codes of practice, which are being drafted.

"We know that an area on Bruny Island has been logged just in recent months that has swift parrot habitat in it," he said.

"There are other areas in the south of the state that may well be being logged right now, and [the Primary Industries Minister] David Llewellyn needs to be proactive and make sure those logging operaitons stop."

Forestry Tasmania has rejected claims it is rushing to log endangered species habitats before the new guidelines come into force.

The Forest Practices Authority has been working with major logging companies, including Forestry Tasmania, to draft guidelines to protect important wildlife habitats.

Forestry Tasmania's Hans Drielsma denies his company is rushing to cut down trees before the draft is approved.

"There's absolutely no basis to any suggestions like that," said Dr Drielsma.

He says harvesting has been stopped in areas where birds are breeding.


Sebastian said...

There's an interesting article in the latest Wingspan about the shift away in federal policy from threatened species conservation. I think this is the biggest threat of all. I believe the article even quoted Peter Garrett saying that it was acceptable that some species be lost in the name of greater habitat rejuvenation.

Anonymous said...

Care killed the cat. take care yourself.........................................

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