Yurangalo Inc

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Information about Giant Burrowing Frogs in Western Yurammie

(For more detailed information on the Giant Burrowing Frog and the Yurammie Population Management Zone, CLICK HERE)

A population of the long-lived forest dependent Giant Burrowing Frog Heleioporus australiacus occurs in a section of the Yurammie State Forest known as the Yurammie Special Prescription Zone (YSPZ), located 20km west of Pambula on the NSW Far South Coast. The Giant Burrowing Frog (GBF) is listed as vulnerable in NSW, federally and by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is one of eight known threatened fauna species recorded within the YSPZ. The adult frogs spend 95% of their life in forests, well away (250m) from the ephemeral headwater streams and swamps in which they breed.

Forests NSW hope to sign off on an integrated harvesting plan for the YSPZ by late June. They anticipate 20% of timber harvested will be sawlogs, with 80% being harvested for woodchips.

A Population Management Zone (the Yurammie PMZ) was established jointly by Forests NSW and DECCW to protect GBFs. It covers parts of the YSPZ, adjoining private lands and nearby Gnupa State Forest.

So what’s the problem?

• 50% of the management zone covers private hobby farms, parts of which are cleared, despite the fact that NO documented surveys have been conducted in those areas and NO historic records occur on those lands. Some of these private properties are subject to unsuitable management activities e.g. ploughing, fertilizer application, livestock grazing, firewood collection and frequent control burning. There are NO management agreements with the private landholders within the zone.

• The Yurammie PMZ is based only on a small number of incidental records from frequented sections of road. NO systematic surveys (using pitfall trapping, regular night-time road transects or tadpole surveys within potential breeding areas) were undertaken in appropriate conditions to determine whether the PMZ included the majority of the local population, any breeding habitat and a reasonable area of known non-breeding forest habitat. NO estimates of population size within or outside of the management zone were made.

• The Yurammie PMZ seems to have been designed not to minimize forestry impacts on the Giant Burrowing Frog but rather to minimize impacts on wood volume extraction from Yurammie and Gnupa State Forests. This is despite NSW DECCW listing one of the key threats to the ongoing survival of GBFs as ‘Forest disturbance associated with forestry operations’.

What you can do to help

Send an email to Frank Sartor MP, NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and cc it to Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Paul McLeay, NSW Minister for Mineral and Forest Resources ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Nick Roberts, Forests NSW Chief Executive Officer ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Tell them that a moratorium on logging should be placed over the YSPZ until thorough scientific surveys are undertaken. Ask for an investigative audit of the PMZ, and for the to be PMZ located to meet the needs of Giant Burrowing Frogs.

A stop to planned logging operations is crucial because:

1. The current Yurammie PMZ for the Giant Burrowing Frog in the Eden is completely inadequate; it was not based on systematic surveys or data on the distribution of known breeding and non-breeding habitat;

2. Adequate systematic surveys must be undertaken in breeding and non-breeding habitat within and outside the current Yurammie PMZ, and

3. The PMZ must be re-designed in a transparent way that demonstrates that it meets the needs of a viable population of Giant Burrowing Frogs, rather than being designed simply to maximize timber extraction.

Yurangalo Inc is a community-based group that has been seeking the permanent protection of the Yurammie Special Prescription Zone since it was created as part of the Eden RFA.

Yurangalo Inc has joined with the Wyndham Water Users Inc and the Myrtle Catchment Group to try and halt the proposed logging of the YSPZ, which forms a vital part of Wyndham’s water supply. The YSPZ also contains warm temperate rainforest gullies, cut and fill swamps, multi-aged and old growth forest - the biodiversity is both rich and abundant. Further, Western Yurammie offers considerable potential to play a role in Wyndham’s economic future through tourism. This forest is worth far more to the community than a pile of woodchips.