Koalas survive despite subsidized non-adaptive management

Clearly in need of some positive pr ABCSE radio has run another story about Chris Allen’s koala surveys and data collection.  Exactly why these surveys are continuing is unclear, unless it is an old story, because they don’t need more info on koala tree species preferences and according to the most recent ‘Corridors and Core Habit’ project newsletter, No 2 dated February 2013 and exclusively available on the SERCA website, the project will ‘Undertake thorough surveys for key koala populations’.

However another aspect of the project is to ‘ Support Forests NSW to identify alternative timber resources and harvesting strategies to enable koala habitat to be protected’. So from that perspective it makes sense to say that the two active sites in Tanja SF become a separate ‘key koala population’ and logging and burning can continue around them.

As it turned out they didn’t find any KFP’s at the survey sites but five were found under a tree on the way to a site, although the unchanging methodology means this tree isn’t considered.

Co-incidentally yesterday while working on the fence I also came across some koala evidence, except as indicated in the pic there were more than 90 relatively fresh pellets, the three at the front of the pic being very old ones from around the same location.

Pellets2

Interesting aspects of this location are that despite being pretty well continuously occupied for the past 13 years, it is about a kilometer from the nearest active site indicated in the C&C newsletter map dated 11/12/12.

The pellets were under two trees, Ash and Woollybutt, 1.5 metres apart on either side of the fence and it appears that the closeness of the branches, plus a dead tree lying across both of them, enabled access to both.

Another aspect of the C&C project is with the CSIRO that are using spectroscopy to map habitat quality because ‘Managing landscapes for conservation requires a capacity to measure habitat quality.’ although this approach would seem to require a more flexible survey methods and the NSW gov don’t do landscapes.

All up the millions spent on the C&C project is looking more and more like a logging industry subsidy, an unnecessary waste of public funds to support non-adaptive management but, the conservation movement don’t think that even though as Ross Gittens pointed out recently ” . . .Environmentalists would do more good if more of them knew a bit of economics.”

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