OK, environmentalism mightn’t be your thing. And a snotty-looking swamp frog ain’t no cute and cuddly panda. But, in case you are interested, or think you maybe might consider becoming interested, here’s a list of endangered species in our immediate area whose outlook isn’t going to get better with fast food litter and habitat contamination.
Threatened animal species
Black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
Little tern (Sternula albifrons)
Pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Glossy black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
Sooty oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)
Comb-crested jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)
Eastern osprey (Pandion cristatus)
Squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis)
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
Little bent-wing bat (Miniopterus australis)
Eastern bent-wing bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)
Common blossom-bat (Syconycteris australis)
Grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)
In addition to these recorded threatened species a further 25 threatened species have been identified as likely to occur within the Moonee Reserve, including the wallum froglet (Crinia tinnula) and common planigale (Planigale maculata), both of which are listed as vulnerable.
Significant plant species
Sand spurge (Chamaesyce psammogeton syn. Euphorbia sparrmanii)
Headland zieria (Zieria prostrata). The four headlands that make up the Moonee Reserve support the only known populations.
Coast headland pea (Pultenaea maritima)
Austral toadflax (Thesium australe)
Significant plant communities within Moonee Reserve listed as an endangered ecological community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act.
Littoral Rainforest: Southern part of reserve in hind dunes behind the southern end of Moonee Beach
Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest: Small stands along Moonee Creek
Subtropical Coastal Floodplain Forest: Open forest along Moonee Creek
Themeda grassland on seacliffs and coastal headlands: All four headlands of the Moonee Reserve
Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains: Western edges of the reserve
Coastal Saltmarsh: Southern part of reserve south of Tiki Trail adjacent to Moonee Creek
The survival of these species will be further threatened by pollution and litter cause by the proposed service centre and fast food outlet — less than 650 metres to ‘the front’, and less than 250 metres to feeder creeks and watercourses.
The specific objectives of the Moonee Beach Nature Reserve, in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Act, is responsible management to ensure:
- conserve biodiversity, maintain ecosystem functions, and protect geological and geomorphological features and natural phenomena;
- conserve places, objects, features and landscapes of cultural value;
- promote public appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of the reserve’s natural cultural values;
- provide for appropriate research and monitoring.
- the protection of habitat and populations of threatened species and endangered ecological communities;
- increased visitor and community appreciation of the biodiversity and heritage values of the reserve;
- involvement of the Aboriginal community in the appropriate management of their heritage and sites of cultural importance;
- management of increasing recreational pressures to limit impacts on the values of the reserve;
- rehabilitation of degraded areas.
Here’s the rub
Gowings Bros advertises (copiously) their Gowings Whale Trust, associated merchandise, and ongoing support of Sea Shepherd. And good on ’em, too. Whales are nice. Whales are vulnerable. They need protecting.
But so, too, do the critters and flora listed above. They may not be pretty, they may not even be particularly visible. You don’t see a crew of butch environmental crusaders laying down their lives to save a pied oystercatcher or to protect some headland zieria. But, arguably, these are more critically endangered.
So why aren’t Gowings showering money on the various volunteer groups that act as caretakers for much of Moonee Reserve?
Because whales are more commercial? More exploitable? OK. Commerically, that’s a fair cop.
But here’s a question harder to answer if Gowings is trying so hard to fly the environmental crusader flag: why propose a development that directly or indirectly affects some 20 endangered or vulnerable species?
Could it be that, really, the whole Save the Whale trust is just a publicity sham and they really don’t give a shit.