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-...
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

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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

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Dec 29, 2015

Birds released into the rainforest

Rainforest fruit being collected for the nursery
Rainforest fruit being collected for the nursery

Thank you for your support in helping us save the endangered Southern Cassowary.

It’s been a busy time over the past three months at the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre. The three orphaned chicks that we’ve been looking after for the past year were fit and healthy enough to release back into the rainforest a few weeks ago. The three birds were released in National Park south of the Garners Beach.

The main care-giver assisting at the Garner’s Beach Centre is Emily, who works hard to ensure that every day the birds have all they need. Just prior to their release Emily sent through the following: “All birds at the facility are doing very well. The three juveniles are in good spirits and are still awaiting their release. The two little ones are doing very well; the vet came I think it was last week to give them a routine check up and was pleased with their progress... they are increasingly eating more and more and get along extremely well.”

Small tracking devices have been attached to the young birds. Dr Hamish Campbell and Dr Graham Lauridsen will be running a three year tracking project to see where the birds roam and how long they survive. The tracking devices are small, placed on the back of the cassowary’s neck, and the batteries last between three and five years. The birds will be tracked from a transceiver located in the bush near the release site in Hull River National Park south of the Hull River. The transceiver has a range of about five kilometers. Local residents will also be on the lookout any birds with the tracking devices if they travel further afield.

Daintree Cassowary Research

Wren McLean has been undertaking research into the ecology Cassowaries in the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. We helped support the research by supplying trap cameras which take photos when creatures pass in front of the lens. Her research surveyed 31 sites for signs of cassowaries, used attractants to lure cassowaries to camera traps, and analysed the lowland fruit species eaten by cassowaries, particularly in the lean season.

Wren found signs of cassowaries at 94% of sites surveyed which is great news. Wrens research identified the main rainforest fruit species eaten by Cassowaries. Eighteen major fruiting species were identified and five of these fruit species represented 87% of the biomass consumed by Daintree Cassowaries: Blue Quandang, Kuranda Satinash, Cassowary Plum, Beilschmieda and Cassowary Satinash. The good news is that we’re growing all the identified species in our native nursery in the Daintree and planting them in our reforestation work. So we’re ensuring a good food supply for the Daintree Cassowaries in the future.

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!

Native seedlings: future Cassowary food supply
Native seedlings: future Cassowary food supply

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