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1Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University. GPO Box 4, Canberra, Australian Captial Territory 2601.

2Victorian Department of Conservation and Environment, P.O. Box 137, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084.

Australia needs a coherent strategy to integrate the management of wildlife across all forested lands. The destruction and degradation of forested lands on the Australian continent since European settlement can be attributed to a variety of factors including the need for settlements to survive, ignorance, poor planning and lack of concern for the environment. But these reasons will become lame if used any longer. We suggest that the objectives of a wildlife strategy follow those identified for the National Conservation Strategy of Australia. On the basis of these objectives, ten goals are considered. While knowledge of forest ecosystems and wildlife s i limited, a number of practical steps can be readily adopted to facilitate more integrated conservation and management. These include a conservative use of forests and the need for more strategic and systematic research and planning. Current forest uses that are not, or do not appear to be, sustainable in the long term should be minimized or stopped. These include extensive forest clearing and the logging of old-growth forests on fertile soils. At the same time, it is essential to quantitatively evaluate and upgrade the existing conservation reserve system within forests and to encourage more conservative land-use practices in forests outside of parks and reserves. Without the adoption of these steps in the short term, it is unlikely that the ecological integrity of many forest ecosystems will be maintained in the long term. As a consequence, considerable genetic diversity within species will be lost and the probability that forest wildlife will become extinct will continue to increase.

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