Zoos Victoria welcomes Government Response to Leadbeater’s Possums

14 April 2014

Zoos Victoria has today welcomed the Victorian Government’s response to the Leadbeater’s Possum Advisory Group Report recommendations.

Zoos Victoria CEO, Jenny Gray said the Group’s recommendations focused on the two principles of protecting and supporting Leadbeater’s Possum colonies; and conserving and enhancing current and future habitat for the possum. 

“The report recommendations are the product of careful negotiation with community, scientists and the timber industry and we believe they are a positive step towards the recovery of our State’s faunal emblem,” Ms Gray said.

“These negotiations and the development of the recommendations have drawn on the science of the leading experts including Dr David Lindenmayer and the Arthur Rylah Institute.”

Ms Gray said the report and its associated technical documents provide a better picture of the state of Leadbeater’s Possum habitat following the devastating Black Saturday fires that wiped out more than a third of the highland species habitat. However, more monitoring needs to be done to gain a better understanding of where current colonies are located and where suitable habitat needs to be protected.

The report recommendations include:

  • A 2 year delay on harvesting in areas that are likely to hold colonies of Leadbeater’s Possums
  • The protection of at least 30 percent of the Ash Forest within identified Leabeater’s Possum habitat.
  • Transitioning the timber industry from clear-fall to retention harvesting from July 2014
  • Greater protection for hollow-bearing trees and increase the chance of more hollow-bearing tree recruitment by amending Zone 1A
  • Establish timber harvest exclusion zones of a 200 metre radius around identified colonies
  • More robust monitoring, reporting and information sharing on likely colony locations and suitable habitat.

Read the full report.