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Mar 30, 2016

Thank you help us save the Southern Cassowary

Camera trap photo: cassowary attracted to red lure
Camera trap photo: cassowary attracted to red lure

Monitoring released cassowary chicks

We last reported on the release of three rehabilitated Cassowary chicks at Hudson River National Park. The birds were carrying a new technology that will enable researchers at Charles Darwin University to track them over the next few years. The tags are monitored by fixed listening stations deposited throughout the forest.

Hamish Campbell,Senior Lecturer at Charles Darwin University, reports: “The chicks were detected a week after release and all appeared to be doing fine. However, with the wet season it has not been possible to get into Hudson National Park to download the receivers. We are hoping to be able to access the receivers after the wet and check if the chicks are still in the area and are alive and well.”

Cassowary Research

We’ve published more details from Wren McLean’s research into the ecology of Cassowaries in the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest in tropical Far North Queensland. One part of Wren’s research was to use camera traps to photograph wildlife investigating brightly colored lures she set out in the forest.

“All camera traps combined provided a pool of 466 visual records from which we were able to identify 45 individual cassowaries of which 64% were adults, 18% sub-adults and 18% chicks.  Cameras provided other useful information on cassowary predators (domestic, pig-hunting and wild dogs), feral pigs and photos of three Bennetts tree kangaroos at two different locations.”

A story detailing more informationabout Wren’s research and findings is linked at the end of this report.

Thank you kindly for your support for this important project – your care and interest in our work enables Rainforest Rescue to operate these projects to help save the Endangered Southern Cassowary! Your support is having significant impact, assisting us to make great progress in securing a bio-diverse future for this unique species and its native rainforest habitat in Australia.

All this would not be possible without your generous support. Thank you!

Camera trap photo: cassowary at Baralba Reserve
Camera trap photo: cassowary at Baralba Reserve

Links:

Feb 17, 2016

Helping protect the unprotected

Daintree lowland rainforest
Daintree lowland rainforest

Lot 46 lies in the heart of the Daintree lowland rainforest in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. This ancient and unique rainforest sits between the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Areas.

In the early 1980’s a large area in the heart of the Daintree lowland rainforest was subdivided and opened up for land development. Rainforest Rescue is working in partnership with local communities, environmental organizations, and supporters such as yourself to buy-back, re-forest and protect properties with Nature Refuge covenants – protecting the rainforest forever.

Since our last report in November work has continued to conserve and enhance the 67 acres of Lot 46. As the new CEO of Rainforest Rescue I toured our rainforest properties with Joe our Daintree land manager and Adrian our nursery manager. At Lot 46 I was amazed with the speed of reforestation. I’ve never seen such quick regrowth, with newly planted trees growing about 8 inches a month! Trees planted when we first started reforestation of the property are now 15-20 feet tall and creating a great rainforest canopy.

In December the ‘wet’ season started with very hot and unusually dry days, reaching over 100 Fahrenheit in the shade. This was followed by heavy deluges of rain which made it hard working conditions for the team. To cope with the conditions Joe and the team have been starting work before 6am so any heavy planting or digging can be done before it gets too hot.

The unique biodiversity of the area is being protected by the collection of seeds from local native trees which are then propagation at our Daintree native nursery. We’ve collected and replanted over 44,000 trees at Lot 46 comprising over 200 different species grown from locally collected seeds!

In December a four-wheel drive was driven onto Lot 46 from an adjacent track to the north. The vehicle broke through vegetation into a newly planted area and did a fair bit of damage. Luckily the young trees are pretty resilient and we didn’t have to do too much replanting. To stop this from happening again we’ve dug in some tree stumps to block vehicular access between the trees lining the track. We’re also looking into ways of creating bollards from recycled/reused tires, following the swords to ploughshares principle.

Your support in helping us protect this very special place is genuinely appreciated by myself and the rest of the team at Rainforest Rescue. With your help we can save this exceptional piece of rainforest for future generations.

Thank you for helping us Protect Rainforest Forever.

Daintree Nursey Manager Adrian
Daintree Nursey Manager Adrian
Joe and Julian view the latest planting at Lot 46
Joe and Julian view the latest planting at Lot 46

Links:

Feb 17, 2016

Re-connecting the Rainforest

Drilling holes for planting at nightwings
Drilling holes for planting at nightwings

Since our last update the team up in the Daintree supported local volunteers and community groups have been focusing on planting the new Nightwings rainforest wildlife reserve. This exciting project is taking land which has been farmed as sugar cane plantation for the past 50 years and replanting back to rainforest. The reforested area will re-connect the upland rainforest with the coast, creating a corridor for wildlife.

We’ve already removed the sugar cane and planted around 6,000 trees on the property. Local elders have been advising the project, describing the features of the area from ponds and creeks to types of trees that used to be there before the sugar cane. The land owners are using this knowledge to re-create the landscape.

The weather has been extraordinary difficult as Land Manager, Joe explains.

“It rained over Christmas most of the time causing minor flooding while some days had more than 8 inches of rain… then early January we had extremely hot weather, we recorded 100 Fahrenheit inside our house last week. This was not very comfortable to work in let alone for the poor trees left standing in an open field.”

However, Joe and the team are resilient and have been starting early very early in the mornings to dig and plant before it gets too hot. The project may be challenging but the rewards are worth it.

Our Daintree Native Plant Nursery has also been busy suppling all the trees needed for the project, supported by a group of committed volunteers from the local community.

Research undertaken by supporter and previous Rainforest Rescue employee, Wren McLean, has identified the main species of fruit and seeds in the Southern Cassowary’s diet. Luckily we’re already growing the key species at the nursery and it’s great to know that we’re not only planting rainforest but also growing future food supply for this amazing endangered species.

Your support in helping us protect this very special place is genuinely appreciated by myself and the rest of the team at Rainforest Rescue. With your help we can rescue, restore and conserve this exceptional piece of rainforest for future generations.

Thank you for helping us Protect Rainforest Forever.

Locally collected seeds: trees of the future
Locally collected seeds: trees of the future
Daintree lowland rainforest
Daintree lowland rainforest

Links:

 
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