MORE than 60 visitors have taken part in wildlife surveys in the Tallarook State Forest, spotlighting and counting endangered animals through a series of weekend night walks.
The ‘citizen science’ surveys, undertaken over several weeks by volunteers with BEAM Mitchell Environment Group, show the forest is home to the threatened greater gliders, powerful owls, and sooty owls.
BEAM president Peter Lockyer said by documenting in video and GPS species like the greater glider, the knowledge of the forest had been enhanced and would hopefully help protect the area from logging plans.
“By submitting our sightings of greater gliders to the office of conservation regulator, VicForests are obliged to protect the glider habitat from logging,” he said.
“Since the greater glider surveys started in 2020, over 130 of these gliders have been recorded in the Tallarook forest.”
Residents started The Save the Tallarook Forest campaign in response to plans by State Government agency VicForests to use the Tallarook Ranges for future logging.
Mr Lockyer said the turnout of visitors to help find the endangered animals was encouraging.
“The huge turnout of these volunteers over the past weeks shows that our community really values the beauty of the Tallarook forest as a place to enjoy nature right here in our backyard,” he said.
“Let’s leave [the forest] there for carbon storage, wildlife habitat, beekeeping, recreation and camping. It’s a home for native animals and birds, unique local plants and insect life.
“Together we can leave our local environment in good shape for future generations.”
Among the nocturnal animals spotted on the walks were koalas, brushtail possums, ringtail possums and sugar gliders.
Mitchell Shire residents can visit the BEAM website at www.beam.org.au to sign up for wildlife survey walks.