Sunday, 7 August 2016

Loss of hollow bearing old growth - Box Gum grassy woodland, Block 9, Section 64, North Watson

An open letter:

Dear Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA, Minister Gentleman MLA and Minister Rattenbury MLA,

I am writing about the loss of significant trees on Block 9, Section 64, North Watson. These trees are hollow bearing, old growth Box Gums in some of the last remaining Box Gum grassy woodland remnants. You may recall my letter alerting you to this two years ago, however I know you are well acquainted with the matter as it's been discussed at length in our community and nationally on ABC Radio.

The matter is important, not just in terms of the flawed process relating to environment offsets, but also environmentally, as this is prime woodland on the productive lower slopes of Mount Majura. It contains numerous small trees that have just been cut down and also irreplaceable, mature Yellow Box and Red Box that are at least 100 years old. I'm sure you know it usually takes 100 years before such trees develop hollows that are large enough for birds and animals to occupy. Trees of this age are precious indeed.

Walking around the felled trees on the site this morning I saw many hollows that showed evidence of animal use. The nesting material of birds had fallen from one such hollow. Many birds such as Red-rumped Parrots, Eastern Rosellas and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were flying down to inspect former hollows in the fallen trees. It was a heartbreaking sight.

I realise your government cannot replace trees of this measure in your political lifetime and that you have now lost the opportunity to save these trees. What you do have is the capacity to save other trees and habitat.

Can you assure me that the Box Gums remaining on Block 9, Section 64, North Watson, will not be felled?

We share the planet with our fellow creatures. It is not simply a resource for the benefit of people.

Yours Sincerely,

The following photographs were taken on two successive Sundays.

This felled tree is not even on Block 9, Section 64. It is inside Justice Robert Hope Park.

Nesting material from inside a hollow.

Another view of the same fallen nest. The building in the background is Prime 7 Media on Antill Street.

On the enlarged view, a pair of Red-rumped Parrots are visible in this recently changed habitat.

TM takes more interest in this situation than Prime 7 Media.

Why remove this tree on the fenceline when others have not been touched?

King Parrot in the background.

Evidence of bird/animal use of hollows.
Even if the hollow simply protects birds from harsh weather, it is fulfilling a useful purpose.