VicForests set up a project that a student of Creswick’s school of logging undertook. The outcome was extraordinarily predictable. An employee of VicForests, Abby Carmichael placed infrared cameras in unlogged and regenerating logged forest.
The cameras detected more bush rats in regrowth and we assume less of other species. The report is not publicly available so we can’t analyse the results.
But the headline breakthrough news is that ‘native species utilise a combination of regenerating and unharvested forest’. Though there are many ways to ‘utilise’ degraded regrowth, passing through it is hardly a sign that a species is flourishing and surviving. The study was done with the very impartial help of VicForests’ so-called Conservation Biologist and Forest Scientist.
The aim of this study was to determine how ground dwelling mammals used 1-6 year old logging regrowth, compared to intact mature forest next door. Two cameras were left in each coupe studied and two cameras were left in a ‘burnt control site’. We don’t know if this was a burnt mature forest next door, or a clearfelled burnt coupe. How many coupes all up? Two? Four? 20? We aren’t told.
They detected six native mammal species all up and we don’t know how many deer, cats or foxes.
The findings showed that bush rats were detected a bit more in logging regrowth, wombats more so in unlogged, and the other species they couldn’t reach any conclusion on. Ground breaking discoveries!
VicForests was clearly hoping to prove that impoverished regrowth was an essential habitat type for wildlife. Michael Ryan, their ‘Forest Scientist’ concluded their media release (click here to read it as a PDF) by saying that VicForests is logging ‘sustainably’ and is trying to show how clearfelling and conservation can co-exist.
Jill / VicForests media release 16.8.12