A Tasmanian forest type is expected to be listed as critically endangered after a decline in abundance of over 90 per cent.
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee is seeking public comment on the proposal to list eucalyptus ovata and eucalyptus brookeriana forest as critically endangered.
Tasmanian Conservation Trust director Peter McGlone said the listing is needed to provide legal protection for the forest type.
“It tends to be a forest community that is found in agricultural areas and there have been some quite famous examples of fairly large areas being cleared, or commision being sought for them to be cleared, in areas where they’re farming dairy and beef,” he said.
“If the community is now listed (as endangered) at the national level, that sort of clearing operation would actually require a commonwealth assessment and I’m pretty sure the commonwealth process would knock it on the head,” he said.
Mr McGlone said the listing is important, but it needs to come with regeneration programs.
“Always the top priority is getting legal protection stopping any further clearing … but on top of that we need to look at those areas that are in a poor state and look to improve the health of those depleted stands,” he said.
Mr McGlone said the only drawback of the commonwealth listing is it doesn’t protect the forest from logging operations that replant native forest after clearing.
“[The listing] provides control over permanent clearing, where you're converting forest to pasture … With forestry operations, where you’re replanting with native forest, the national listing wont have any effect at all,” he said.
Mr McGlone expects the listing to go through.