Local, Science/Environment

“Dozens of endangered plants damaged. Business as usual for Forestry Corp?”

Conservationists have found dozens of endangered plants damaged by the State Government’s logging company the Forestry Corporation.

By the Bellingen Environment Centre – Press Release 16 July 2019

Many more are likely to be destroyed by the roading and logging scheduled for the headwaters of the Kalang River.

The Milky Silkpod (Parsonia dorrigoensis), pictured below, is a nationally endangered plant.

As the name suggests the forests of the mid-north coast are a stronghold for it, with most records found between Kendall and Woolgoolga. In 1999 it was estimated that there were less than 2000 individual plants and the main threat to the survival of this species is low numbers.

The milky silkpod

The official government conservation advice on how to manage the plant, is to manage the threat, particularly on State Forests with logging activity, and to ensure that road widening etc does not adversely impact on known populations.

“Yet once again Forestry Corporation has shown its disregard for the the environment. Of the 110 confirmed new records identified on the weekend,  39 specimens were found that had already been damaged and unlikely to recover. With more logging and roading imminent it is highly likely to wipe out a good part of this population,” said Jonas Bellchambers, one of the team who voluntarily surveyed for the plant on the weekend.

“Like for most species, it’s a death of 1000 cuts, and before we know it another plant has blinked out and has gone from our planet completely. We are in the midst of a major extinction event. Here we have a clear example of why. Because government and industry just don’t care.

“We call on the Environment Minister Matt Kean to take immediate action to ensure the protection of these endangered plants. Otherwise he will bear responsibility for the demise of the Milky Silkpod,” Mr Bellchambers said.

Video of the damaged endangered plants can be seen here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EZKYiuT5wtYHpi4hfnzKN9-OD_iJq6Qn/view

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