Forestry Corporation appears to have breached its own post-fire logging rules in Mogo State Forest by cutting down a large ironbark, a feed tree for the critically endangered swift parrot.
Swift parrots migrate from Tasmania to the mainland during winter and feed on the nectar of a trees including South Coast ironbarks.
The breach was detected by the NSW Nature Conservation Council and Friends of Mogo Forest during a fact-finding tour of Compartment 180A on Friday, May 7.
NCC has written to Forestry Corporation asking it to investigate the alleged breach and put in place measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
During the field trip, NCC and the Friends of Mogo State Forests discovered the stump of an ironbark with a diameter of more than 1.15 metres.
“Every tree being removed from that forest is a potential source of nectar for the swift parrot on its annual migration from Tasmania to the mainland,” said Friends of Mogo Forest spokesperson Nick Hopkins said.
“Logging swift parrot feed trees puts another nail in the coffin for this amazing species. The forests between Ulladulla and Merimbula are listed as a Key Biodiversity Area for this species, with the greatest threat facing this species and habitat being logging. The community is outraged this is happening in our backyard.”
NCC Nature Campaigner Wilson Harris: “There are believed to be only 350 swift parrots left in the wild, which makes it one of the rarest birds on earth.
“Swift parrots use ironbark trees like the one the Forestry Corporation contractors cut down as a vital food source.
“Most of the trees being cut down will end up being used for toilet paper or firewood. What an outrageous waste of desperately needed wildlife habitat.
“NCC and the Friends of the Forest Mogo are calling for an immediate moratorium on native forest logging and a rapid transition to plantation forestry.
“This region simply can’t sustain a native forest logging industry after the Black Summer bushfires.
“The South Coast was one of the hardest hit areas in the state, with 80 per cent of bushland burnt in the Shoalhaven local government area and 65 per cent in the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley shires.
“Logging so soon after the devastation to our forests gives wildlife and the ecosystems little chance of long-term recovery and will tip some species over the edge.
“Now the destruction of South Coast forests is about to intensify, with Forestry Corporation earmarking 18 more compartments for logging between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay.
“It is time for the destruction to stop.”
What: Rally to Save Swift Parrots. Speakers from NCC, Birdlife Australia and local activists will be there.
When: 1:15pm, Saturday, May 22
Where: 2 Museum Pl, Batemans Bay
Why: The community will rally at Batemans Bay Forestry Corporation office to oppose native forest logging on the South Coast and destruction of swift parrot habitat.