The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has welcomed the creation of 3,600 additional hectares of nature reserve in Western Australia’s South-West.
The new reserves – located in Cranbrook and Manjimup – have been created with the aim of providing additional support to vulnerable and endangered species, including WA’s largest population of wild numbats as well as woylies, western ringtail possum, chuditch and black cockatoos.
The plan, announced yesterday morning by the Minister for Environment and Climate Action, Reece Whitby, will also provide a link between the existing Tone-Perup and Unicup nature reserves.
“Our one-of-a-kind forests are a hotspot for native species”, said Mr Whitby.
"These new nature reserves provide an important ecological link to other reserves in the area supporting our native species.
The announcement coincided with the one-year anniversary of the state government’s announcement that native forest logging will end in WA, by 2024.
Reflecting on those plans, the WA Forestry Minister, Dave Kelly, said that the decision to end logging of Western Australia’s native forests “reflects the changing attitudes of the community towards our native forests - cutting down 300-year-old trees is no longer acceptable.”
Maggie Wood from the Conservation Council of WA said that the creation of new nature reserves in the state was to be ‘warmly welcomed’.
“New nature reserves are an effective measure in providing additional protections to some of our state’s most iconic and much-loved species.
“In particular, steps to protect the largest remaining numbat population in WA – whose numbers have tumbled to less than 1,000 individuals – should be warmly welcomed.
“This announcement comes on the 12-month anniversary of the McGowan Government’s historic announcement to end native forests logging in Western Australia and marks the anniversary of the promise to protect an additional 400,000 hectares of our precious forests as part of the upcoming Forest Management Plan.
“It is important that we do not view this announcement in isolation. Our native wildlife is under an increasing number of threats as habitat continues to be destroyed across our state, most recently for construction of the controversial Bunbury Outer Ring Road, which will see as many as 72 critically endangered western ringtail possums forced from their home.
“We agree with the Forestry Minister – cutting down 300-year-old trees is no longer acceptable. Which makes it all the more alarming that the state government continues to sanction the stripping of thousands of hectares of native forest for bauxite mining.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing more than 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]