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Primary Industry and Native Wildlife

We couldn't squeeze everything into our Primary Industry fact sheet. Here is some additional important information.

Other Species

As well as the species mentioned in the Primary Industries Issues Sheet, many of whom are partly protected or unprotected species by law, numerous other fully protected species have come into conflict with human interests. Birds of prey continue to be targeted by individuals, despite some species becoming endangered as a result of such long-term persecution for stealing chickens, ducks or lambs. Some are caught by mistake in illegal cruel traps meant for other species, none of whom deserved such a cruel fate.

Wombats have gotten themselves into strife for pushing their way through fences. Eastern Quolls are known for their penchant for hen houses. The Native-hen (a species endemic to Tasmania) was only protected in 2007 after years of uncontrolled persecution for [alleged] pasture damage and fouling of dams. In reality the amount of excrement from a little Native-hen would be far less than that deposited by large grazing animals around dams and water courses. The Native-hen is now recognised for its benefit in regulating the growth and distribution of native grasslands , but may still be killed under crop protection permits.

For all of these species the solution to the problems they may cause is not to kill, it is to think creatively about how humans can better manage their crops, stock and land to minimise conflict with wildlife. Better fencing around hen houses, with strong wire netting buried under the ground, will exclude quolls at night. Special gates can be built in fences that allow wombats to pass through without damaging the fence. There are solutions to every problem if only we care to look and think!


Just Who is Affecting Who (continued from fact sheet…)

In addition to destroying the homes (and lives) of many thousands of vertebrates and invertebrates every time a forest is logged, forestry operations have a distinct impact on the species living nearby during continuing operations. The number of bird species inhabiting a regrowth forest was found to decline markedly when an adjoining mature forest was logged. Decades of growth are required before some species return, which represents many lifetimes for some species . A number of native species rely on older trees for nesting, and for specialised foraging, such as the Strong-billed Honeyeater that requires older trees in order to find insects under the bark . When a forest is destroyed, some species never return.

The loss of old growth trees, and even dead trees, has a huge impact on a number of species of mammals and birds as valuable tree hollows that take 100-plus years to form are destroyed. Some species only breed in mature forest .

Excessive land clearing has led to a loss of habitat for both predator and prey species. The importance of undergrowth and fallen logs as habitat has largely been ignored by humanity. The needs of many species for adequate habitat to maintain healthy populations are not being met.

Only a handful of species have benefited from white settlement. Increased grazing via land clearing has benefited Tasmanian Pademelons and Bennetts Wallabies. Forest Ravens have enjoyed the huge amount of roadkill. Brush-tailed Possums have been able to adapt to urban living. Whilst these species have benefited, many others are in serious decline as a result of habitat change and persecution, legal or otherwise. In Tasmania there are 71 threatened vertebrate species – 11 mammals, 36 birds, 7 reptiles, 2 amphibians and 15 fish – a sad indictment of our lack of care and responsibility.


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Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania, Tasmanian Conservation Trust & Voiceless © 2012