A rare and unique bird, the Eungella Honeyeater, urgently needs its habitat protected from mining and logging if it is to survive.
The Eungella Honeyeater (scientific name Lichenostomus hindwoodi) is one of the last new species of birds discovered in Australia, identified only in the early 1980s as being a different species to the more common Bridled Honeyeater.
The only place the Eungella Honeyeater can be found is in a small area of plateau rainforest in the Clarke Range, about 65 km west of Mackay.
The Eungella Honeyeater cannot be found anywhere else in Australia and is currently listed as being “near-threatened”.
‘Eungella’ is an aboriginal word meaning ‘mountains of the mist’ – which perfectly describes its habitat.
Eungella Honeyeater at risk from logging
Crediton State Forest, part of the Eungella Honeyeaters’ habitat, now has a selective logging permit which could see large parts of the honeyeater’s habitat destroyed for logging purposes.
The honeyeater can be found year-round in the Crediton State Forest, but has been recorded in highest numbers there in the winter months of June, July and August when it feeds seasonally on insects and lerps before beginning nesting in adjacent Eungella National Park.
(A lerp is a structure of crystallized honeydew produced by larvae of psyllid insects as a protective cover. Host plants where local bird observers found Eungella honeyeaters feeding include Forest Red Gums (Eucalyptus tereticornis,)
Swamp Mahogany (E. robusta) and River Oaks (Casuarina cunninghamia).) It may be that Crediton State Forest provides a protein rich diet needed at this time of the year to ensure successful reproduction for this species within the Eungella National Park.
It is vital that clearing be prevented in Crediton State Forest if numbers of Eungella honeyeaters are to be maintained.
What you can do
Mackay Conservation Group, Birdlife Australia, and other flora and fauna conservation groups such as Birding Australia, are calling on Ministers of the Queensland State Government to ensure that the Eungella Honeyeater habitat in Crediton State Forest be properly protected, preferably by incorporating it into Eungella National Park.
Who to email
Send your protest emails to:
- Hon. Andrew Powell MP Minister Department of Environment and Heritage Protection - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hon. John McVeigh MP Minister Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - email@example.com.
Points to make in your email
I am deeply concerned about the protection of the Eungella Honeyeater in Crediton State Forest. The Eungella Plateau, including the Crediton State Forest, is the only place in the world that this bird can be found.
Decisions to allow logging of the honeyeaters’ habitat put the future of the bird at risk.As Crediton State Forest contains the largest available habitat for this species outside of Eungella National Park any logging in this forest is highly likely to impact this species.
These impacts should be well-researched before logging is approved as it is unlikely they could be mitigated.
Further logging and/or mining will mean more roads and access which will mean more disturbance of an area where the priority really is the protection of a major habitat for an endemic species.
Ideally Crediton State Forest needs to become a part of Eungella National Park to ensure the protection of this species as well as other threatened species such as the glossy black cockatoo and the squatter pigeon (southern species) which have been recorded in this state forest.
I request that you consider including this state forest into Eungella National Park. If not what plans are in place or contemplated to ensure this species and threatened species within this state forest are protected from harm?
Email the minister
- Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – John McVeigh MP
- Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection – Andrew Powell MP
- Minister for Natural Resources and Mines – Andrew Cripps MP.