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When Landscapes Provide Wide Ranges of Ecosystem Services, Which Values Should Be Given Priority?

April 24, 2017 |

“This article was originally published on Threatened Species Recovery Hub

“Threatened species are often found in landscapes where there are competing interests and views on how things should be managed. Different people place different values on different things. Farmers, foresters and conservationists, for example, would value things in a landscape from different perspectives. Who are you going to call to deal with these tensions? Ecologists? Engineers? Economists? TSR Hub researchers have called in the accountants, and their approach has highlighted that continuing with native forestry land use simply doesn’t add up in Victoria.

The critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum has its ‘home among the gum trees’ up in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Unfortunately, any old gum tree won’t do. These small striped possums need montane ash forests with large decayed trees with hollows to provide den sites, a dense wattle understorey for food, and a complex vertical structure to provide transport routes through the forest. This has been known for some time but fire and forestry practices in Victoria’s ash forests have reduced the amount of suitable habitat to such an extent that the future of the Leadbeater’s possum is looking bleak.

But their home among the gum trees serves many other uses too. They store carbon, provide timber, are a water catchment, and are used for recreation and bushwalking. How should this landscape be managed? Which values should be given priority?…”

Read on at: Threatened Species Recovery Hub.

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