News

Birds killing local forests say greenies

A REPORT indicates thousands of hectares of the Northern Rivers Border Ranges ancient forests are slowly dying from a combination of logging, opportunistic bell miner birds and their prey.

The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) national report uses Border Ranges forests as an example and says the birds are destroying trees thanks to "logging operations that create low dense understoreys of lantana, open mudstones and sparse overstoreys".

This encourages farming by the birds of tiny sap-sucking insects called psyllids, which has created an abundance of both species and led to the continued destruction of trees.

NEFA say they conducted an audit that found the "Forestry Corporation of NSW is targeting affected forests for increased logging in the full knowledge that they are killing the forest".

The alliance has called on the Minister for the Environment Rob Stokes to put a stop to continued logging in affected forests.

Report author Dailan Pugh explained how bell miner-associated dieback (BMAD) occurs: "The altered habitat favours bell miners who aggressively mob and chase away most other birds and allow populations of sap-sucking psyllids to thrive and literally suck the life out of vast swathes of eucalypt forests.

"This dieback has affected over 100,000ha of NSW forests. Millions of hectares of NSW's native forests are considered susceptible.

"The report focuses on examples from the Border Ranges where some 30,000ha of native forest have already been affected by BMAD. Rehabilitation costs are already estimated at some $30 million and growing as the Forestry Corporation continues to degrade the forest."

The Forestry Corporation denied any wrongdoing and noted scientific opinion on BMAD differs considerably."

Topics:  north east forest alliance


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Welcome to Northern Rivers’ first golf course of its kind

IT’S OPEN: The Ballina Disc Golf Course at Bicentennial Gardens was officially opened last week by US-born disc golf player Jesse Amos, who pushed for the course, and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Reports of at least one hole-in-one already

Who wants to be an engineer?

Sparks flly as the laser cutter slices through a 3/4 in sheet of steel at Adnought Sheet metal Fabrications. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Calling young people who have thought about an engineering career

'Urgent repairs' needed at Ballina rugby league club

Ballina Seagulls players pictured in September 2015.

Ballina Seagulls fans advised not to sit in grandstand

Latest deals and offers

Bring home the bacon at Northern Rivers festival

LES Wiles isn’t telling porkies when he says this Sunday’s Alstonville Family Festival will be lots of fun.

Welcome to Northern Rivers’ first golf course of its kind

IT’S OPEN: The Ballina Disc Golf Course at Bicentennial Gardens was officially opened last week by US-born disc golf player Jesse Amos, who pushed for the course, and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Reports of at least one hole-in-one already

Who wants to be an engineer?

Sparks flly as the laser cutter slices through a 3/4 in sheet of steel at Adnought Sheet metal Fabrications. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Calling young people who have thought about an engineering career

'Urgent repairs' needed at Ballina rugby league club

Ballina Seagulls players pictured in September 2015.

Ballina Seagulls fans advised not to sit in grandstand

FitzSimons brings Republic mission to Northern Rivers today

The Australian Republican Movement’s National Chair Peter FitzSimons AM.

Peter FitzSimons will be speaking in Lismore and Ballina today

Backpacker tax: Cut it in half or scrap it?

Janelle Saffin and Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Joel Fitzgibbon discuss the proposed backpacker tax outside Janelle’s office.

Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon: Backpacker tax should be scrapped.

Vanessa from the Northern Rivers, Vivid queen of Sydney

LOCAL LADY: Tobin Saunders as the outgoing Vanessa Wagner.

BALLINA-based gender illusionist Vanessa Wagner at Vivid

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest