1Department of Biology, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia 3217.
Victorian forest fauna is threatened by clearing, fragmentation and degradation of habitat. Within the last decade, the Victorian Government has reappraised policies in an attempt to develop a sustainable forest industry. A policy framework (State Conservation Strategy) and a strategic approach (Timber Industry Strategy) have been developed to provide for conservation of forest fauna. The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act also provides for the conservation of Victorian fauna and flora. Nonetheless, economic considerations continue to constrain wildlife conservation. The conservation and management of the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum is regarded as a test case for integrated conservation of wildlife and timber production in the state. This chapter examines the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches to the conservation of forest fauna. Research on forest fauna is in its infancy, and information is urgently required on wildlife corridors, retained habitat, old-growth forests and habitat modelling. Research needs to be at the appropriate scale and many aspects require long-term investigation. This chapter concludes that recent conservation measures are not adequate to protect Victoria’s forest fauna.