As reported in ELAW’s 1991 Annual Report
This case brought together the spotted owl of the Northwest United States and the sooty owl of Australia. Logging in Chaelundi State Forest in New South Wales was threatening the survival of the sooty owl and other species protected under Australia's Endangered Species Act. An Australian public interest environmental lawyer, seeking to halt the logging, realized that he needed an expert witness to establish the link between habitat destruction and species decline.
ELAW Australia directed him to ELAW U.S., which connected him with an American expert who had testified in the U.S. spotted owl cases. That expert recently had done habitat research on Australia's sooty owl and was able to offer crucial testimony in the case.
The court accepted his testimony and ruled for the first time in Australia that habitat destruction constitutes a "taking" of a species under the Endangered Species Act. The court ordered logging to stop. An appeals court upheld this ruling and legislative efforts to override it failed, so the Australian Endangered Species Act worked and destruction of this endangered species' habitat was prevented.