Reducing the number of native animals killed on our roads has been a major TCT campaign for three decades. The issue is now accepted and publicised as having serious consequences for our native species and there is agreement that it requires more coordinated, sustained action. To catalyse this, TCT is currently undertaking a survey of all Tasmanian road managers, to determine their strategies and actions to reduce roadkill within their jurisdictions. The survey will help to gauge where there might be better coordination of resources and effort, that might lead to fewer deaths and injuries of animals on our roads. As part of its response, Hydro Tasmania sent the following article from Stornaway.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management audit report, produced by auditing company SCS Global Services, was released by Forestry Tasmania on 1 March 2016. The state government responded by acknowledging that 90% of the auditor’s forest management standards were met, missing the point that there were 12 major non-conformities and just one prevents certification being granted.
The bushfire situation in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) has worsened significantly in the last 40 years. In the early 1980s, malicious and spiteful lighting of fires was rampant, particularly along the Lyell Highway, although this human malevolence seems to have largely abated. Accidental ignitions from campfires and other human folly require vigilant controls, but they are not the most significant threat. Since the early 2000s fires started by dry lightning have become the most significant concern.
There is no question that seals are a serious potential problem for fish farms. There is also no question that relocating or killing seals is a bad response. To a Tasmanian seal, whether it is a New Zealand fur seal or an Australian fur seal, farmed salmon is like a cross between a Big Mac and heroin, (although salmon may be a healthier food choice than a Big Mac).
The coalition government’s management of the super-trawler Geelong Star and the small pelagic (deep ocean) fishery is failing to protect the environment and important recreational fisheries. The latest management arrangements may conceal future dolphin and seal deaths and there is no mechanism to prevent localised depletion of fish stocks that is based on scientific evidence. Just when the government needs all the good advice it can get, its fisheries manager, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), has axed the Small Pelagic Resource Assessment Group (SPFRAG), the primary scientific advisory committee for this fishery.
Bronwyn Fancourt has spent four years researching the causes of the decline of eastern quoll in Tasmania. The following is a brief summary of the extremely enlightening presentation she gave to the Bruny Island community recently.
The state government announced, on 9 May 2014, that use of 1080 poison for control of native browsing animals would not be banned, as had been mooted by the previous Labor–Green government. Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff told the ABC that ‘the government will not phase out 1080 without a suitable alternative’. He accepted that fencing and shooting worked for most farmers but that 1080 would not be banned while there are any farmers who, regardless of their circumstances, cannot operate without 1080.
Back in May 2007, an article entitled ‘World Heritage Embarrassment’ was published in the Tasmanian Conservationist (#311), highlighting the stand-off by the Tasmanian Government on funding for a program to remove rabbits, rats and mice from Macquarie Island and its credibility on nature conservation in one of the most important reserves in Australia.
Several related wildlife themes have surfaced in the recent past: ways in which our cities and suburbs turn some animal species into winners or losers (Low 2002); a trend for some species to adapt to habitat or landscape-scale changes (TPC 2010) and how landowners might best manage the major problem of browser impacts (Greening Australia 2003). Are we creating winners and losers by appropriating wildlife habitat? What is the current position? The Hobart suburb of Fern Tree may be an instructive example here.
The State of the Forests Tasmania 2012 was tabled in the state parliament at the end of November 2012.
Although it hardly registered a blip in the media or in the state parliament, the report is an important component of Tasmania’s environmental reporting and provides a key role in the five yearly reviews of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (the next review is due in 2014). It also provides many important facts in regard to forest conservation and management which should of use to those currently debating the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Bill.
On 25 September 2012 a St Helens man, was convicted and fined $5500 in the Launceston Magistrates Court for clearing important native forest without a permit on his property near St Helens. While the fine issued to the landowner was lenient (it could have been over $100,000), this court decision should send a message to other landowners and contractors who are thinking of clearing without a permit.
To commemorate Threatened Species Day on 7 September this year, Roadkilltas.com (the website that provides tools to help drivers in Tasmania make their journeys wildlife friendly) and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust launched a Metro bus-back advertising campaign to get the message to Hobart’s drivers regarding slowing down to save wildlife.