Tasmanian Government knowingly logging Arthur River endangered species habitatWildlife expert calls out detrimental impact of Takayna logging on Masked Owls

Media Enquiries

This morning, forest defender Valerie Thompson was arrested blocking road access to the contentious Arthur River forests in Takayna, the site of thirteen days of continuous protests as logging destroys habitat for the endangered Masked Owl, Azure Kingfisher, Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea Eagle.

“We have recorded 111 calls of the endangered Masked Owl over the past month in the Arthur River forests which are currently being logged. This is overwhelming evidence that owls are present while logging machines are still tearing down their forests. Logging of Masked Owl nests and foraging habitat has been happening for decades and this latest tragedy in Takayna is a shocking example of the logging industry and the government deliberately destroying endangered species habitat,” Jenny Weber said, Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager

“This morning, our foundation has again written to Tasmania’s Premier Rockliff, the Forest Practices Authority and Forestry Tasmania to provide audio evidence of Tasmanian Masked Owls within this logging coupe. This is the fourth time we have presented this kind of evidence, including both screech and chattering calls, which indicate the presence of a breeding pair”, said Jenny Weber.

“Takayna is such an incredible and unique ecosystem. I was captivated over twenty years ago when I first set foot in the heart of this wild place, and I fall in love every time I return. It must be protected for all,” said Valerie Thompson.

Wildlife ecologist David Millege has commented on the impact of clear-felling on the Tasmanian Masked Owl in this logging coupe at the confluence of the Arthur and Frankland Rivers. David has extensive field experience in eastern Australia and has worked for the past 35 years for government authorities and as a private consultant in four states, specialising in forest and woodland ecosystems, concentrating on endangered vertebrate species.

“From the audio recordings supplied, it is evident that this logging coupe supports one or more pairs of Tasmanian Masked Owls. The level of recorded activity over a short period suggests that the coupe may contain a territory boundary and that breeding activity is presently underway. The high density of hollow-bearing trees and stags reported to occur in the coupe supports this contention, as the forest in, and adjoining, the coupe most likely provides core habitat for this endangered species,” said David Millege.

“The clear-fell logging operations currently being undertaken in the coupe are likely to have an immediate and serious detrimental effect on any breeding activity, with the potential loss of nest sites and associated roosting and foraging habitat. The loss of nest and roost sites will also be irreversible under the silvicultural regime being applied, which aims to convert the forest to a young, even-age stand devoid of old-growth trees in the longer term,” David Millege said.

“It is difficult to comprehend that the government authorities accountable for the responsible and sustainable use of such forests are allowing these operations to continue, regardless of the likely impact on a species listed as endangered at the state level and vulnerable nationally. What is required is for logging to halt until a comprehensive survey is undertaken to ascertain the use of the coupe by Masked Owls and for adequate prescriptions to be put in place to protect and maintain the species’ critical habitat elements there in the long-term,” David Millege said.

Add Your Heading Text Here

Sign me up for campaign updates

Sign up for our email updates and get the latest on our work, upcoming events and how you can help us take action for earth.