Wildlife destruction by Fuel Reduction Burning, Portland Vic

To: Rob Farnes <>,
Subject: Wildlife destruction by Fuel Reduction Burning, Portland Vic
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 09:33:48 +1000 (EST)
G'day Rob,
Olde JAG is moving home at present BUT is giving a lot of thought about 
stopping his nestbox building and donation program due to the possibility of 
his "H2OLLY HOMES" nesting boxes being burned with the contents enclosed. He 
thinks it makes him responsible for the possum deaths. Inhabitants in ovens 
have nasty memories for him. No wonder he gets "HOT" under the collar about so 
called controlled burn-offs getting out of control.
Would the DSE like some functioning computers that via the www weather site 
give info on wind direction and strength changes? Our ABC weather folk are thee 
best in the world would they like their phone number?
Extremely irate JAG fumes off ....... to have his moving experience ... sings: 
he's leaving home bye bye
Rob Farnes <> wrote:
Hi all,
It has been a disastrous autumn for wildlife in the Portland District with the 
Government (DEPT of SPARKS & EMBERS) stepping up their so called fuel reduction 
burning program.  These burns have become far to frequent to hot and to large 
and are completely decimating our wildlife and modifying our forests.
Last week a 400 hectare area was burnt scorched (no different than a wildfire) 
in the Cobboboonee State Forest.
Here is the result of dead animals found in one area of 100m radius:
(128) yes 128 Common Ringtail Possums (major component of the Powerful Owl's 
diet in this district)
(2) Black Wallaby's
(8) Long-nosed Potoroo's (Endangered Species)
Photographic evidence will be published with an article in the Warrnambool 
Standard (today) and  hopefully the Portland Observer next week.
The forests here (like everywhere) have suffered in the past from 
fragmentation, over logging, ringculling (of the majority of old trees) and now 
to frequent burning.  The burning results in a lot of bulldozing of tracks and 
trees (including some of the few remaining large trees) also open forest areas 
are changed eventually resulting in a forest with a dense understorey. There 
were large areas of open forest in this district in the early 1900's.
In the past  25 years I have noted the alarming decline and contraction in the 
range of two species in particular the Spotted Quailthrush and Chestnut-rumped 
Heathwren.  These ground dwelling specialists do require some open forest to 
forage in and in my opinion the affects of frequent burning (along with 
predators such as cats and foxes) are the main contributing factors in their 
The DSE to my knowledge (locally anyway) do not take into consideration these 
species (no action required) as they are not endangered, quailthrush is listed 
as been near threatened and heathwren vulnerable. There have been nine regional 
extinction in the Portland district.
Regards Rob Farnes


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