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-...
Jun 25, 2014

4,000 new Cassowary habitat trees planted!

Cassowaries in the Daintree (C) Martin Stringer
Cassowaries in the Daintree (C) Martin Stringer

Since its launch on 17 March 2014, the new Save the Cassowary campaign has gone from strength to strength.

Media coverage of the launch spread the message to almost FOUR million Australians. Our 19 partner zoos are displaying interpretive signage at their Cassowary enclosures to raise awareness. Some partners have already raised thousands of dollars to help the cause. Rainforest Rescue's Director of Conservation and Partnerships Jennifer Croes, addressed the Zoo and Aquarium Association Annual Conference in Auckland New Zealand where news of the campaign attracted interest and support from conservationists around the globe including Europe and the USA.

Another important step has been the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Girrigun Aboriginal Corporation, which will see their members actively involved in rainforest regeneration on their native lands to improve Cassowary habitat. Local aboriginal people will also be involved in caring for sick, injured and orphaned Cassowaries at the Garner's Beach rehabilitation centre in response to accidents and adverse weather events.

Cassowary sightings in North Queensland are increasing, and while this gives us hope that the population is strong, it is often on the roadsides and a sign that their natural habitat is becoming more fragmented, so they need to come nearer and nearer to human populations... one of the biggest threats to their wellbeing.

On 14 and 15 June, the Rainforest Rescue team was joined by more than 50 volunteers - who came from near and farto plant 4,000 trees on three of Rainforest Rescue's properties. The land had been cleared of many tonnes of rubbish and debris (including concrete slabs and old car tires) and the holes had been dug in advance. The seedlings were raised in Rainforest Rescue's own nursery from seeds collected during the last year. Although the weather was unseasonally wet (June is usually the dry season in the Wet Tropics) and the events were muddy, the work was completed and the team had a great sense of accomplishment in creating more habitat for the Southern Cassowary and other native wildlife.

The new plants will be tended carefully for two to three years until the canopy closes over, which will help to control the weeds. Of course, all this requires resources, both human and financial and your support in helping to conserve this keystone species is greatly appreciated. Thank-you to all our Global Giving donors who - despite great distances in some cases - continue to support our work.

Daintree Tree Planting 2014 (c) Martin Stringer
Daintree Tree Planting 2014 (c) Martin Stringer
Seedlings in the nursery (c) Martin Stringer
Seedlings in the nursery (c) Martin Stringer
Volunteers at work (c) Martin Stringer
Volunteers at work (c) Martin Stringer
The Girringun mob (c) Martin Stringer
The Girringun mob (c) Martin Stringer

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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

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