Vandals destroy endangered trees in Jaaningga Nature Reserve

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is investigating the destruction of rare native trees in a nature reserve south of Bellingen.

NPWS Ranger Martin Smith with destroyed trees

Rangers found 13 Newry golden wattle trees rammed and uprooted along a 1.2 km span of fire trails within the reserve. Marks on the trees indicate they were destroyed by a vehicle with a bull bar.

Newry golden wattle (Acacia chrysotricha) is a nationally listed endangered plant species found only within a small area of remote eucalypt forest in the Kalang River Valley. The species is found nowhere else on the planet.

Jaaningga Nature Reserve, a local Gumbaynngirr word meaning 'green wattle, was declared in 1999 specifically to protect the habitat of this native tree.

NPWS staff and bush regeneration contractors discovered the destroyed trees while scoping areas where weed control work would assist the ongoing protection and growth of this endangered species.

NPWS is appealing to the public to help identify those responsible. Anyone with information is encouraged to call NPWS on 02 6652 0900.

Quotes attributed to NPWS Area Manager Glenn Storrie:

We are dismayed by such mindless vandalism of precious and endangered native species within a declared nature reserve.

We believe that between Friday 9 February and the morning of 12 February, someone has entered the reserve and mown down at least 20 native trees along fire trails within the nature reserve.

Unfortunately, most of the damaged trees were a rare and endangered native species found nowhere else on earth.

The foliage on these destroyed trees was still green and fresh, as were the tyre marks and wounds on the trunks.

The evidence available clearly indicates this damage is recent and deliberate.