Forestry Tasmania have agreed to our injunction to not log 850 hectares of Swift Parrot habitat in the coming months. This is the biggest breakthrough for the conservation of Tasmania’s forests in a decade.
The injunction protects 19 coupes in Tasmania’s southern forest and east coast regions. It will immediately protect important breeding habitat, as Swift parrots have started to migrate to Tasmania from mainland Australia and will begin breeding in the next month. These 19 coupes have been identified as the most important habitat by scientific experts and are either scheduled, or could be scheduled, to be logged over the coming months.
The Swift parrot is critically endangered and is likely to go extinct in the next 20 years. One of the major threats to the Swift Parrot is loss of habitat. Swift parrots come to Tasmania to feed on blue gum and black gum trees and to nest in the hollows of old growth forests. The Regional Forest Agreements have allowed Forestry Tasmania to log their nesting and feeding habitat for the last 20 years.
BirdLife Tasmania have welcomed the injunction. “Conservation of nesting and feeding habitats of a Critically Endangered species shouldn’t require legal action” Dr Eric Woehler, BirdLife Tasmania Convenor, said, “but the commitment by STT to not log Swift Parrot habitat is a welcome reprieve as the 2020/21 breeding season starts”.
This may not be the only injunction in the Great Forest Case. There are 213 coupes on Forestry Tasmania’s logging schedule which contain habitat for the critically endangered Swift parrot. The Bob Brown Foundation will continue to monitor logging operations and take action if logging commences in any of this habitat.
If our Federal Court challenge to the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement is successful, we will also seek an injunction to stop Forestry Tasmania carrying out any logging without Federal Environment Minister approval. We would also seek an injunction to repair any damage Forestry Tasmania has done which breaches the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This will help to protect other nationally listed threatened species.
A win for the Great Forest Case will mean a win for the swift parrot. It's time to put an end to the logging of the Swift parrot’s habitat and the Great Forest Case is the best chance we have of putting an end to native forest logging in Tasmania.