Lower Hunter Valley
Numerous ecological studies have shown that the Hunter Economic Zone (HEZ) contains a remarkably large diversity of threatened flora, fauna and ecological communities. These include globally endangered species - in particular, Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots.
Since European settlement one-third of Australia's woodlands have been cleared and since have been causing many species that rely on this habitat to be threatened. As a key drought refuge for these species, their dependence on the site is expected to increase as pressure from mining developments, climate change and pest species increases.
The Tomalpin Woodlands, the most important breeding site for the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot in the Lower Hunter Valley KBA, has been zoned for industrial development as part of the Hunter Economic Zone. The approval allows for clearing of up to 90% of mature trees. This development would be catastrophic for the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot.
BirdLife Australia is calling on the NSW and Australian Governments, and Cessnock City Council to permanently protect the important breeding habitat of the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater from imminent destruction by the development of the Hunter Economic Zone.
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Photo credit: Dean Ingwersen, Andrew Silcocks & Mick Roderick