Day 2 in the Tarkine Canopy Vigil – Frankland River forests

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Photo: Lisa Searle

"Day 2 dawned clear and windy in this little treetop perch. I can see my friends moving around below me, emerging from their tents and from the bush, making tea and breakfast, brushing their teeth, chatting. Normal morning activities. I am doing all these things as well but when you are confined to a 1x2m platform and wearing a harness, all tasks are more difficult.

Last night around 7pm the police paid us a visit. They were from Burnie and seemed very friendly, asking whether we had emergency equipment, satellite phone, etc. They didn't ask us anything about who we are, why we are here or how long we are planning to stay, but did say they would 'drop in for a visit' every day.

We have an Owl Broadcast Megaphone, a device for playing bird calls and late last night the ground crew pulled it out and started playing Masked Owl calls. We were rewarded with a number of calls, some of which seemed so close they could have been coming from the trees right next to me.

We have so many precious endangered creatures in Tasmania, and another growing list of extinct or near extinct. The Tarkine is a last stronghold for a number of these species - the giant freshwater crayfish, wedge-tailed eagle, Tasmanian devil, masked owl. We humans have already destroyed so much of their habitat and pushed them to the fringes, to the brink of extinction. Can't we just leave their last safe places alone?

I sit here in this tree hoping against hope that I will receive a message, telling me that Forestry Tasmania are pulling out, leaving this area, finally listening to the community and giving some respite to the forest and its' creatures."

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Photo: Lisa Searle

Dr Lisa Searle, Conservationist in the threatened Frankland forests.


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