Rare sighting doesn't quoll-ify for protection

Nothing.

That is what the department has done to protect quoll habitat in the Baw Baw plateau. NOTHING. Not only that, but it took them five months to do nothing.

On April 25 this year a Spotted-Tailed Quoll was caught on remote camera in the forests of Mt Baw Baw. The rare sighting caused a stir and the community immediately called for the sighting to be protected in an additional “Special Protection Zone", as required by the regulatory framework. In response to community pressure, environment minister Lily D'Ambrosio announced on Facebook on the 8th of May that no timber harvesting would occur in the quoll’s habitat and that an announcement about its protection would be made in the coming days.

We waited. No announcement came.

We were desperate to protect the quoll’s habitat, and we weren’t going to stand idly by. Together we made hundreds of calls and sent over a thousand emails.

And what did they do?

Nothing.

No announcement, no notification of their plans. No additional protection for the quoll. The quoll was found on the edge of an existing protection area so they’re going to lump it in with that, instead of establishing a new one, as required. They have however, made a new “Special Management Zone” for the quoll and are lauding themselves for taking this measure. Guess what isn’t excluded from a Special Management Zone? Logging.

That’s right.

So if you’re wondering what happens when a community member makes a rare-sighting of an endangered animal in a pristine forest in a site of global ecological significance, the answer is nothing.

 No protection for a rare Spotted-Tailed Quoll in the forest of Mt Baw Baw. Quoll photo courtesy of Milan Stupar.

No protection for a rare Spotted-Tailed Quoll in the forest of Mt Baw Baw. Quoll photo courtesy of Milan Stupar.