Mar 31, 2015

Cassowary chicks are eating us out of house and home

Chicks in care are growing larger by the day
Chicks in care are growing larger by the day

It has now been four months since three cassowary chicks came into our care at the Cassowary Rehabilitation centre.

The chicks are rapidly growing and now eat around the equivalent of a two gallon bucket of fruit twice a day! Their food intact has nearly doubled in three months.

Fortunately your generous donations have enabled us to purchase a fridge which means we can now buy food in bulk – leading to considerable saving. Thank you.

Our carer Emily has said:

“I just wanted to let you know that the fridge is working wonderfully. I am now able to buy the fruit in bulk which is going to save a good deal of money.

I have worked it out and calculated that I am saving roughly $50 - $70 dollars a week so far on fruit, buying it in bulk rather than in loose quantities each day. Imagine how much I’ll save when the chicks are larger!”

Emily’s resourcefulness has also lead to other savings – she has now secured fgive-away not-quite perfect bananas from a local grower.

After a recent vet check-in we are also adding high quality dog biscuits into their food to provide a higher quality protein source.

After his visit Graham the vet, reported “They are all very bright and alert, doing very usual cassowary behaviour.

“One is growing faster than its sibling so we believe it might be a female. I will be able to confirm this at my next check up”.

Thank you for support in helping us care for these chicks. The southern cassowary is endangered in Australia and its distribution is limited to two small pockets of far north Queensland in the Wet Tropics. We are doing everything we can to increase the cassowary’s chance of survival.

a rare photo - all three chicks standing still
a rare photo - all three chicks standing still
the siblings
the siblings
Mar 8, 2015

inching towards permanently protecting its heart

What we want to protect forever
What we want to protect forever

Late last year we launched our campaign to create a nature conservation reserve on Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road in the Daintree.

Usually when we identify important rainforest needing protection we ask for your help to purchase the property, however in the case of Lot 46 we needed to act urgently to protect it.

This meant we did something we hadn’t done before but believed was absolutely critical– we took out a bank loan to save the property. This immediately saved Lot 46 from developers, however it prevents us from being able to protect it into perpetuity.

Our campaign will create a Reserve that will protect the 27.66 hectares of Lot 46, and the rainforest on it, forever. 

Please help us protect an amazing place!

What makes Lot 46 so special and worth saving?

  • it is of critical importance, in terms of habitat and connectivity, for the endangered Cassowary and other species
  • it sits at the base of the spectacular Thornton Peak, and provides an important link between the upland and lowland rainforest
  • surveys have recorded 14 rare, three endangered and two vulnerable species
  • it supports an Endangered Regional Ecosystem
  • two important creeks (part of the catchment area for Cooper Creek - one of the larger Daintree lowland creeks) run through it
  • it contains remnant forest with ecological transitions from rainforest to swamp forest
  • the western boundary is Daintree National Park/World Heritage area

What we have achieve so far

We bought Lot 46 in 2010 and since then have spent 1000s of hours on its restoration; we have planted nearly 37,000 trees that were grown in our Daintree nursery; and we have cleared more than 180 tonnes of rubbish.

volunteers planting rainforest trees
volunteers planting rainforest trees


Feb 3, 2015

We planted our 70,000th Daintree rainforest tree!

the nursery team busy at work
the nursery team busy at work

With the support of our donors we reached an incredible milestone at the end of 2014 – we planted our 70,000th rainforest tree in the Daintree!

This is an incredible achievement, one that we are very proud of, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our dedicated donors and volunteers. Thank you very much.

We want to share with you the achievements from 2014:

  • Planted 18,099 rainforest trees in the Daintree
  • Held two community tree planting days in the Daintree with nearly 2,000 trees planted
  • Spent over 4,500 hours restoring our Daintree properties
  • Grew more than 20,000 seedlings in our Daintree Rainforest Nursery

Thank you – YOU made this possible


Our productive Daintree Nursery

Four years ago, our Daintree Nursery could propagate and grow 3000 plants per year. Last year, the nursery team propagated and grew over 20,000 plants; a figure set to continue to grow.

This increase in nursery capacity was made possible by donations and grants. The funding enabled our Daintree Nursery Manager and our Daintree Land Manager to streamline potting and growing processes. We were able to install steel framed benches to hold all the seedling trays, additional planting materials, plus supplementary irrigation equipment, all which have contributed to more effective outcomes.

At any given time, there are approximately 6000 potted plants within the nursery shade house, and around 4000 in the sun hardening area. Propagation requires the collection of local seeds which are then sorted and catalogued prior to being sown for the germination process, and last year the nursery propagated 204 different rainforest species. This is definitely a ‘success story’ as not all rainforest seeds germinate easily, and many seeds are available only intermittently.

The decision about what seeds to collect and propagate is based on the needs of the restoration site. Local fruits are collected from within the Daintree Lowlands; their seeds retrieved and readied for propagation.

Plans for this year

Thanks to your continued support and donation we have begun the year busily, maintaining the nearly 35,000 trees we have planted in the Daintree over the last two years – it takes two years of watering and weeding before the young seedlings are strong enough to grow without our maintenance. The late arriving wet season meant we had to water for much longer into the season.

Now the rain has begun falling (and falling) and this gives us the confidence to begun planting more seedlings.

Scoping out the most high conservation properties to protect

We have also begun planning our next purchases. First our volunteer Daintree advisors conduct detailed surveys to assess priority properties using our Daintree Land Acquisition Criteria Score Card. This enables us to rank and prioritise properties for purchase (and to ensure we use donors’ gifts as appropriately as possible).

It also ensures we focus our attention on acquiring property with high conservation values that provide habitat corridors for flora and fauna species, a number of which are officially listed as endangered or threatened.

The ten ranking criteria include: forest structural integrity, regional significance, degree of plant endemism, plant species conservation status, connectivity to other protected properties, corridor function, strategic location, existing degradation, settlement threat potential, and value for money.


It is already shaping up to be another busy year protecting and restoring rainforest – however with your support in Adopting Vulnerable Rainforest in Australia we can make a tangible difference.

some of the 2000 seedlings grown in 2014
some of the 2000 seedlings grown in 2014
Our productive Daintree nursery
Our productive Daintree nursery


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