Native forest biodiversity study

Native forest biodiversity study

Friday, 8th Mar 2013

A landmark study has found that appropriately managed production forest landscapes have a similar biodiversity to that of largely undisturbed landscapes. The research, commissioned by Forest and Wood Products Australia and carried out by Forestry Tasmania and the University of Tasmania, has shown that tall eucalypt forests do not necessarily need to be in large reserves to provide suitable habitat for their associated animals and plants. Rather, it is possible to effectively integrate the conservation of these species with wood production. Researcher Dr Tim Wardlaw said the study had provided the scientific evidence to show that timber harvesting is compatible with the maintenance of biodiversity values – particularly when it is integrated with, rather than separate from, areas containing mature forests. “There has been a shift of thinking in conservation science over the past decade. It’s now considered best practice to mix harvesting and retention across wider areas. “The alternative - concentrating retention in large reserves and focusing harvesting in a smaller area outside those reserves - can create a tension between harvesting and biodiversity conservation outside the reserves. This study is one of the first to test this shift of thinking in conservation science.”

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A copy of the report may be obtained from the Forest and Wood Products Australia web site Research Report pdf.

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Did you know?

About 6% of Australia’s 147 million hectares of native forests are public forests potentially available for timber harvesting. Timber is harvested from about 1% of those public native forests each year.