Other Media

The 'ecosystem canaries' which act as warning signs of collapse

Friday, August 19, 2016

Originally published at: 

The coal miner’s canary provided a warning of dangerous levels of toxic gases. Photograph: Don McPhee for the Guardian

The Earth’s biodiversity is under attack. We would need to travel back over 65 million years to find rates of species loss as high as we are witnessing today.

Conservation often focuses on the big, enigmatic animals - tigers, polar bears, whales. There are many reasons to want to save these species from extinction. But what about the vast majority of life that we barely notice? The bugs and grubs that can appear or vanish from ecosystems without any apparent impact?

Native Forest logging: we can do better than this

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Originally published at: 

Pretty much everyone is sick of the slogans used by the major parties in the election. But jobs, growth and fairness remain pertinent to the current situation in the native forests of Victoria's Central Highlands. There, the reality is that native forest logging provides few jobs; it is not a growth industry – its resource availability is shrinking. It is not fair that taxpayers have to subsidise an industry worth far less to the economy than alternative uses of the forest.

'Devastating': Dispute with farmer forces wildlife shelter to close after 30 years

Friday, July 22, 2016

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Wildlife carers say they cannot continue to nurse injured kangaroos back to health only to risk having them shot by a neighbouring farmer once they are relea

Is Victoria's native forestry industry worth it at $5 million a job?

Monday, June 27, 2016

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The viability of Victoria's government-owned native forestry business has been thrown into doubt by a high-level analysis concluding it takes more than $5 million of investment in roads, machinery and equipment to create a single timber job.

Book review - Flying Dinosaurs: How fearsome reptiles became birds

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Originally published at: 

Wombat Forestcare Newsletter - Issue 36

From the Wombat Forestcare Newsletter - June. With thanks to Tanya Loos

“As you read this, an estimated 400 billion individual feathered dinosaurs, of 10,000 species, can be found on earth, in almost every habitable environment. You need only step outside and look up into the trees and the wide blue skies to find them.”

Victorian forests worth more as national park than timber

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Originally published at: 

This ANU report proves the logging industry is worth 1/70th what the forests produce in water value.

Professor David Lindenmayer said plainly "This is really dumb economics..." Logging in the central highlands generated a tiny $29 per hectare of additional net economic activity in 2013-14. That compares to a $2,023 per hectare contribution to the state's water supply, a $2,667 per hectare contribution to agriculture and $353 per hectare from tourism.

The analysis also found the value of carbon sequestration was potentially greater than the value of logging. Based on a carbon price of $12.25 - which was the average price paid by the Commonwealth in its second direct action emissions fund auction - it estimated carbon storage could generated about $38 per hectare per year.

Central Highlands carbon storage worth more than logging

Monday, June 20, 2016

Originally published at: 

The Andrews government is considering creating a new national park in the central highlands. Photo: Justin McManus

Victoria's Central Highlands' forests would potentially generate more income for the state if they were permanently preserved to store carbon rather than logged, according to a major study.

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