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May 13, 2016

A worldwide treasure that needs to be protected

Daintree rainforest
Daintree rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest… "a worldwide treasure that needs to be protected at all costs”  David Attenborough

The Lowland Daintree Rainforest lies between the Wet Tropics of Queensland and Great Barrier Reef UNESCO World Heritage Areas and has a vital role in connecting these two significant ecosystems. The recent bleaching of significant areas of the Great Barrier Reef is a striking reminder of the impact of human activity on our ecosystems. Drastic action needs to be taken to help build resilience against these threats and the potentially catastrophic long-term impacts of climate change. Creating permanent rainforest corridors, connecting protected landscapes, gives the unique flora and fauna of the Daintree a better chance of survival and protects river catchments flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef.

Lot 46 lies in the heart of the Daintree lowland rainforest and is an amazing success story in reforestation of this unique habitat. We’ve removed over 200 tons of rubbish and debris from the 67 acre, from rusty old car bodies to derelict farm buildings. The second stage was to remove invasive species and weeds including a plantation of oil palms. We’ve now planted around 45,000 trees on the site comprising 200 different species – all collected from our Daintree rainforest properties and propagated at our native nursery. The speed of regrowth is amazing and the site is now unrecognizable from when we rescued it.

With your help we’ve started a new research project on Lot 46 looking at invasive species and weed management. The Daintree lowland rainforest has an ancient lineage going back 70 million years. Unfortunately this means that some of the flora is not as quick in adapting to change as species which have invaded the area as development and roads encroach into the rainforest. In Phase 1 we’re talking to all the land management organizations and groups in the region to compile what people are doing on the ground. At the same time, we’re scouring the literature to make sure we’re aware of international best practice. Phase 2 starts at the end of the month where we’ll try a number of test plots using different techniques to get a comparison of effectiveness.

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.

Researcher Dan Perlacki our weeds expert
Researcher Dan Perlacki our weeds expert
Joe and Adrian review latest planting
Joe and Adrian review latest planting

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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:

 
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