Frontline Action on Coal teamed up with locals and The Wilderness Society this weekend for a birdwatching in the Leard Forest this weekend.
The Wilderness Society Media Release
The status of Leard Forest as a haven for rare and endangered birds has been confirmed during a weekend long survey of the Leard State Conservation Area, according to the organisers, The Wilderness Society.
36 bird watchers from Tamworth, Armidale, Sydney and Narrabri gathered to conduct surveys of the bird population.
Over 60 Species of birds were identified, including several threatened species.
However there were no flowering trees in the survey area, so the chances of spotting critically endangered Swift Parrots or Regent Honeyeaters were slim.
“It’s a pity NSW Forestry Corporation forbade the survey to take place in the Leard State Forest which is much larger and provides superior habitat and more chance of flowering trees”, said Wilderness Society representative Anna Christie.
“The tragedy for Leard Forest and all its animals and life forms is that it lies above thick seams of coal which are not far from the surface.”
“Given the Leard forest’s extensive ecological value, there was always a suspicion that the approval for Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine was unlawful. We argue that this coal mine should halt immediately until ICAC corruption enquiries linking former mine owner Nathan Tinkler and bribes to the National party are fully resolved. Corruption like this threatens more than just endangered species. It jeopardises the very essence of democracy in this country.”
“It would be a tragedy for Leard Forest to be sacrificed when the era of coal will end well short of the life of the coal mine, leaving a stranded asset.”
Further Comment: Anna Christie, The Wilderness Society as part of the Leard Forest Alliance, 0425 322 186