Environmentalists concerned industrial estate will lead to extinction of threatened bird

Environmentalists concerned industrial estate will lead to extinction of threatened bird

Updated about 9 hours agoTue 14 Oct 2014, 5:11am

Environmentalists say plans to develop an industrial estate near Cessnock could ultimately lead to the extinction of a bird species.

A new study has found the Hunter Economic Zone (HEZ) contains one of the most important breeding habitats for the Regent Honeyeater with less than 400 of the birds remaining in the wild worldwide.

When the study was complete in 2007, up to quarter of the world’s population of the bird was recorded in the Tomalpin Woodland within the HEZ site.

Head of conservation at Birdlife Australia Samantha Vine said the bird is listed as critically endangered, with the population declining by more than 80 per cent in the last 20 years.

“We know that they’re declining, they’re declining rapidly in the wild,” she said.

“So to have found such an important site to the species and to have that threatened by clearing, it’s going to take out a massive chunk of the already threatened population.”

Ms Vine said they have called on the Federal Government to revoke the approval of the HEZ saying it is threatening a critically endangered species of bird.

She said they are also calling on Cessnock Council and the state government to find an alternate site for the industrial estate.

“This development has been approved but at that time there wasn’t the knowledge of how important this area is to critically endangered species,” she said.

“So this information is new since that approval was granted.

“So we want the Federal Government to re-look at the situation and there are provisions within the law for when this happens.”

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