Rainforest Rescue

Rainforest Rescue is a not-for-profit organisation that has been protecting and restoring rainforests in Australia and internationally since 1998 by providing opportunities for individuals and businesses to Protect Rainforests Forever. Our mission is to inspire, engage and build community for the protection, preservation and restoration of rainforests through fundraising and education. Our objectives are: 1. The protection and enhancement of the natural environment. 2. The conservation of rainforests and the preservation of the biodiversity of rainforest ecosystems. 3. The restoration, rehabilitation, enhancement and management of remnant and regrowth rainforest. 4. The revegetation of ex-...
Apr 22, 2014

Clean it up, plant it out and then... Cyclone Ita!

Tyres at Rosewood Road awaiting removal
Tyres at Rosewood Road awaiting removal

As always, our team in the Daintree has been kept busy as dry weather turned to wet, and then Cyclone Ita hit the coast!

At LOT 46 Cape Tribulation Road nine semi-trailer loads of rubbish, including 13 car bodies, a shed, a tank stand and a 24 foot boat trailer were removed. An additional five tonnes was carted out by hand so as not to disturb the delicate plants. A large concrete slab was broken up and buried three metres underground and another 56 oil palms were poisoned.

Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Property Manager Joe Reichl says: “Oil palms are very aggressive and their roots can spread 60 metres from the trunk. We have to chainsaw the crown and then they implode creating very little rubbish but providing much-needed mulch.”

At the Baralba Corridor Nature Refuge in Rosewood Road, three sheds and a tank stand were cleared but there are still around 1,000 vehicle tyres waiting to be removed.

Since the 1960s Lot 46 was used successively as a pineapple and banana plantation (access too difficult to get the fruit out), a palm oil plantation (conditions too wet for oil production) and later for cattle grazing, until Rainforest Rescue purchased it in 2010, with support from donors.

Almost 4,300 trees were planted in January and February, which were wet months, bringing our Daintree tally to almost 54,000. The new trees are growing vigorously as are the weeds, which are sprayed as the weather allows. At our Daintree Rainforest Plant Nursery, more than 10,000 plants are flourishing in readiness for our volunteer planting event on 14 and 15 June.

In areas that have been re-planted, invasive weeds must be controlled until the canopy closes over. This generally takes at least two years.

In early April, Tropical Cyclone Ita hit the Far North Queensland coast. Although classed as a category 2 cyclone, winds of up to 200km/hr brought down trees and branches, closing roads and cutting off access. Our team has been using machetes and chainsaws to free the new plantings of fallen debris. Luckily there was no damage to the nursery infrastructure.

As always, we are very grateful to you, our donors, who make it possible to purchase these properties to protect them forever. Restoration at Lot 46 is supported through funding from the Australian Government. Restoration at Rosewood Road is supported a grant from the Queensland Government.

Car bodies removed from Lot 46
Car bodies removed from Lot 46
Lot 83 Rosewood road ready for replanting
Lot 83 Rosewood road ready for replanting
The cyclone damage wasn
The cyclone damage wasn't too bad
Apr 8, 2014

New campaign to Save the Cassowary launched in Sydney

Jennifer Croes prepares for live TV cross
Jennifer Croes prepares for live TV cross

The Southern Cassowary is endemic to Australia’s Wet Tropics region in Far North Queensland and a keystone species, whose loss would impact other species and the ecosystem. The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is listed as the second most ‘irreplaceable natural World Heritage Area’ on earth. Many species such as the Southern Cassowary, the Mahogany Glider and Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo are found there.

Current estimates fear fewer than 1,000 birds are left in the wild. Rapid residential and commercial development has eliminated much of its habitat. Little known to most people, this living dinosaur evolved millions of years ago and is vital to the rainforest’s ecological functionality. It disperses the seeds of more than 180 rainforest plant species.

At WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo on 17 March 2014, Rainforest Rescue launched a new iteration of its Save the Cassowary campaign in collaboration with 19 Australian zoos, government departments and business partners to urgently highlight the future of the endangered ‘Rainforest Gardener’, the Southern Cassowary. The event included a live cross to local breakfast TV show ‘Wake Up’, from inside the cassowary enclosure.

Launching the campaign, Rainforest Rescue’s Conservation Director Jennifer Croes announced a new partnership with Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, describing it as “bridging the conservation gap by incorporating Traditional Owner knowledge and values to long-term conservation solutions.”

Chris Hibbard from the Zoo Aquarium Association (Australiasia) spoke of the need to put the dwindling numbers of Cassowaries in the spotlight as “by comparison, they are actually fewer in number than the Giant Panda, of which there is great awareness and support for its survival around the globe”.

Will Meikle from WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo spoke of the role zoos play in helping to bring Endangered species to the public’s attention, before joining Jennifer and Chris to unveil the newly created signage that will be displayed in 19 partner zoos nationwide from early April.

While the species focus of the campaign may seem like a departure from Rainforest Rescue’s traditional preservation and restoration activities, this magnificent keystone species is a ‘rainforest ambassador’. If we don’t protect its rainforest habitat, there will be no Cassowaries and vice versa, for without the unique role the Cassowary plays in dispersing more than 180 rainforest seeds, the very future of the rainforest will be compromised.

A new website has been created especially for the campaign. In addition to a wealth of information about the Southern Cassowary and the threats it currently faces, it also provides information about Rainforest Rescue’s conservation projects and how you can help, which will be regularly updated via news articles. See more at: www.savethecassowary.org.au  

Rainforest Rescue and our partners invite you to help save this ‘living dinosaur’ by getting to know the Cassowary, understand its vital importance in nature and support Rainforest Rescue’s cassowary conservation initiatives including habitat protection through land buy-back; restoration of vital habitat and corridors; Garners Beach Cassowary rehabilitation centre; and the undertaking of further scientific research.

Speakers at the campaign launch
Speakers at the campaign launch
New art cup from business partner BioPak
New art cup from business partner BioPak

Links:

Jan 23, 2014

Almost 50,000 trees, and counting!

Watering seedlings by hand
Watering seedlings by hand

Dear Friends

With support from our donors, we have now planted 49,061 trees in the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest region in Northern Queensland, Australia.

Less rain than expected so far this season meant hand-watering the seedlings we planted at Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road. We dug almost 3,000 planting holes in one week and planted more than 1,300 trees just as rains finally arrived to help the trees get established.

Seed collection
But the lack of rain also enabled us to collect lots of fruit for seeds and we now have about 20 new species in the nursery. We are growing enough seeds for our forthcoming plantings. Almost as quickly as our nursery team builds new benches and cages for the seedlings, they’re filled with new seedlings, which is great news.

Clearing
Clearing rubbish and removing invasive weeds is essential. Dealing with rubble, car wrecks, old tyres and the remains of disused buildings is hard work. We removed all the rubbish at Rosewood Road using heavy earth-moving equipment, jack hammers and even an oxy-acetylene torch on a steel-reinforced concrete slab to make way for replanting.

Camera traps
We have also installed nine camera traps at Lot 46 to capture wildlife as they return to the rainforest. We know from our work with the Orangutan Information Centre in North Sumatra that wildlife does return and we look forward to sharing pictures with you soon.

New vehicle
We recently purchased a four wheel drive vehicle to enable us better to travel in the rough terrain and carry water and tools. We are now in the process of having it branded ‘Rainforest Rescue’ so locals and visitors alike are more aware of our presence and work.

Moving forward
We hope for lots of rain this wet season to establish our new seedlings. We intend to finalise the purchase of Lots 17 & 18 Forest Creek Close, which are adjacent to Lot 16, by April. With your continuing support, this will allow us to create an important wildlife corridor in this area and protect this rainforest forever.


Can you please donate to help us continue our work to buy back and restore rainforests?

Rainforest fruits collected for seeds
Rainforest fruits collected for seeds
Clearing rubbish at Rosewood Road
Clearing rubbish at Rosewood Road

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