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Aug 29, 2019

Thank you! Lot 46 Loan Paid Off!

Lot 46 looking back towards the Great Barrier Reef
Lot 46 looking back towards the Great Barrier Reef

A Vision Realized …

In August 2010 the Rainforest Rescue Board of Directors decided to take a risk and purchase a degraded property in the Low Land Daintree Rainforest – Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road. In order to do this, a large financial commitment was made, in the form of a bank loan, and an epic restoration project was launched.

We have all read stories about transformations; of land, of people, and of places. The best transformation stories offer a truly uplifting end result. Lot 46 is just such a story - a time-lapse adventure packed with passion, humanity, education, science, intelligence, and a whole lot of hard work.

Most of our longer-term donors will remember us telling the sad history of abuse of this property; from clearing for agriculture and the growing of Oil Palms to being used as a dumping ground for waste. The 26.7-hectare property was purchased by Rainforest Rescue in 2010 and sits at the base of Thornton’s Peak, the highest point in the Daintree lowland rainforest. Some of you will definitely remember that it’s an important ecological crossover as it forms part of the Coopers Creek catchment and is a ‘habitat zone’ for important fauna.

Since 2010 extensive revegetation has been undertaken, with thousands of rainforest plants sourced from Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Rainforest Plant Nursery. Revegetation works have been carried out by our Daintree Land Manager, hundreds of volunteers, supporters and various staff over the years.

We’ve shared bits and pieces of the incredible transformation of this property over the past 10 years with pride and excitement. We always hoped that this enthusiasm would ignite your passion for rainforest restoration and inspire you to join us as rainforest rescuers. We believe it’s up to all of us to make a difference.

Now we can happily report that finally after years of hard work, sweat and tears, lot 46 is now fully restored and secured! Thanks to you and hundreds of other committed supporters, the loan that was taken out to secure Lot 46 has now been paid in full! A huge restoration and rescue success story that would never have been possible without your support and the support of hundreds of individuals who believed in this project.

We are incredibly proud of this project and we know that you are with us. It couldn’t have happened without supporters as passionate as we were. Together, we’ve nurtured and realized this jewel in the crown success story.

Next Steps – Not quite there: To finalize the process, we will need further support in order to strip all development rights from Lot 46 and ultimately apply for Nature Reserve Status. Once we achieve this, Lot 46, will proudly stand as part of the undeveloped lower Daintree Rainforest, becoming a significant habitat corridor for wildlife and biodiversity – Rainforest Protected Forever.

Rainforest Rescue supporter planting on Lot 46
Rainforest Rescue supporter planting on Lot 46
Aug 23, 2019

Lot 30 to be Saved - Another Rescue Thanks to You!

Lot 30 Panorama - Martin Stringer Photography
Lot 30 Panorama - Martin Stringer Photography

You did it again!

The most recent opportunity to buy back a critical piece of endangered lower Daintree Rainforest has been a success - we are now in process to rescue it.

Everytime we're successful in rescuing a rainforest property that means less human impact in the future, less traffic, less disrution of Nature. It also means more habitat and protection for local flora and fauna. Remember, the Daintree is the most ancient of the world's rainforests. It is Australia's largest rainforest. It's the world's most biodiverse. And it's magnificent.

Lot 30 Cape Tribulation Rd is incredibly rich in wildlife where orange-footed scrub fowl dart into the understory, crossing paths with endangered cassowaries that forage there. Ulysses butterflies flit past and the call of Wompoo pigeons resonate through the trees. With this density of coverage, it's also sure that you'll find canopy dwellers like Bennett's Tree Kangaroo and floor dwellers like the Musky Rat-Kangaroo - both at risk. It's a magnificent piece of the rainforest that's been a planned homesite...and now it isn't.

Expert Evaluation

Our Daintree rainforest experts, Allen Sheather and Barbara Maslen, evaluate our properties before we rescue them, ensuring that the biological diversity and forest condition is up to par with state requirements for qualification to become protected nature reserves. They scored this block very high ecologically, with over 120 rainforest species, including many with very limited distributions. It also scores 5 out of 5 for its intact rainforest canopy.

Wildlife Corridors Protect and Connect

Ensuring Lot 30's protection will serve to expand our Cape Kimberley Wildlife Corridor, with its uninterrupted connectivity and undisturbed forest, adjoining previously rescued Lot 29, linked to the Daintree National Park. Another Rainforest Rescue reserve across the road connects to a private nature refuge, further expanding protection.  

Real Risk Mitigation

I was just there and locals informed me that there were "house pads popping up all over the place" - and I saw a bulldozer setting up. Lot 30 is reached by an access road that is cleared but not yet sealed. Roads provide access to development that would reduce this precious forest to holiday homes or worse. Ultimately, we plan to close off this road and replant it, bringing back the full forest canopy and providing a haven for plants, animals, fungi and insects alike. To do that we need to get the lot next door – our next target.

Rescue and Protect

Of the 33 properties - almost 34 - saved by you and fellow Rainforest Rescuers, 23 are protected with covenants  protecting them forever, two have been gifted to the National Park, and we are working with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to protect the remaining properties by adding them to our family of Nature Refuges.

Rainforest Rescue is committed to Protecting Rainforests Forever! 

Together we're making it happen. Thank you!

Cassowary - Martin Stringer Photography
Cassowary - Martin Stringer Photography
Bennetts Tree Kangaroo - Credit Mungumby Lodge
Bennetts Tree Kangaroo - Credit Mungumby Lodge

Attachments:
Jun 12, 2019

More Good News for the Daintree's Cassowaries!

Earlier this month, during a tour of Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Rd, a 27-hectare (67 acre) property in the Daintree lowland rainforest that is now reclaimed and restored, we were lucky enough to stumble across some Cassowary Plums (Cerbera floribunda). Dr Robert Kooyman, Rainforest Rescue’s Scientific Advisor, led the tour and took the opportunity to educate the group about this amazing fruit & its relationship with the cassowary. Here's a short snippet of this video with Dr Kooyman:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx8cRdiDbrj/?igshid=1w1s6e5zp825x

Dr Kooyman went on to say that the cassowary’s role in dispersing fruits and, in particular, large fruits is significant as a major propagator in the rainforest. He also shared that in regards to the Daintree rainforest’s population of cassowaries, this area of Australia is ‘…one of the only areas where their population has increased.’

In fact, as we reported to you in our prior communication, for the first time in over forty years our Land Manager also saw a southern cassowary south of the Daintree river and near the NightWings property where we have – with your support – planted almost 70,000 trees back into Nature. Sightings normally of cassowaries are only found north of the River!

NightWings Rainforest is the ambitious project of re-establishing an ecosystem where there had once been rainforest. Over the last 60 years this land has been destroyed by farming and now we are recreating a functional and resilient natural ecosystem for the future. This was the site for the nearly 100 volunteers that came to help us plant close to 3,000 trees to restore this degraded rainforest. 

It’s really coming along beautifully – and now, our huge restoration work south of the Daintree river is also benefitting cassowary populations. We couldn’t do this without all of you. Thank you so much!

Volunteer Planting a Tree
Volunteer Planting a Tree
 
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