The state government of Victoria in southern Australia has failed to protect the habitat of three species of owls in the Gippsland Forest - the Sooty, Masked and Powerful owls and environmental groups are suing in response.
The Powerful and Sooty owls are listed as vulnerable and the Masked owl as endangered, according to Victoria's Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
Environmental group Environment East Gippsland which has launched the legal action in the Supreme Court say bushfires earlier this year burnt 170,000 hectares of forest habitat of the owls and that legally, the government was required to review and secure replacement forest areas considered as suitable habitat for the owls – but failed to do so.
Management plans for the owls state that the Powerful and Masked owls require at least 100 areas of 500 hectares each, while the sooty owl needs 131 areas of at least 500 hectares.
Forests of the Gippsland region are a stronghold for the owls because the age of the forest means it is an ideal habitat for birds of prey. The government must take immediate action to protect these species and protect the forests of the Gippsland region.
Please sign and share the petition to save the Sooty, Masked and Powerful owls.