Monitoring diagram (courtesy of Dr Robert Kooyman)
Rainforest Rescue extends our sincere thanks for your interest and support for the evolving story of Lot 46. Long ago we nicknamed this block our ‘Jewel in the Crown’ as we had put so much work into its restoration. Sometimes you get what you ask for because our recent monitoring results support just how much of a ‘jewel’ this 68 acre lot is becoming!
A consistent methodology for monitoring the progress of this rainforest restoration project was established four years ago. This equated to pegging out 7 permanent plots at various sites around the property, and then further pegging another 10 subplots within each of these. This guaranteed that all data that was recorded through time would produce a true picture of the status of the overall restoration efforts. A diagram that explains the monitoring layout is included with this report.
It was a true joy to scramble through this developing rainforest as it is so dense with life forms. Not just with all the young trees, but with a remarkable array of fungi, and a myriad of vines as well. There were many incidents of getting totally caught up in vines, and needing assistance to be freed. The sound of our laughter associated with these incidents joined with the beautiful call of the Wompoo fruit dove who accompanied us on each of the three days that it took to cover all seven plots.
The 70 leaf litter samples offered both interest and beauty on a small scale…with the forest floor of each subplot covered with fallen leaves, twigs and dying matter, all adding to the well being of a growing rainforest. There were plenty of ‘wildings’ growing within the leaf litter, too. This young developing rainforest is attracting wildlife that are leaving ‘calling cards’ of seeds for a whole range of tree species.
Taking the three ‘canopy closure’ images in each of the 7 plots was not always easy. Working along a middle line of the plot, the protocol was to stand in each of the three spots within the plot, then hold the camera facing the sky and attempt to capture clear images of canopy closure. An absolute riot of different foliage and leaf shapes all but obscured any view of the sky. Since a true indicator of a healthy rainforest is a closed canopy, we were very excited.
We’ll do another monitoring in a couple of years, and by that time we may have achieved another goal – paying off the loan to purchase Lot 46 and turning this jewel in the crown into a fully protected Nature Refuge. We’re getting there with your help. All of us should feel both excited and proud of the evolution of this once seriously degraded property. Together we’ve breathed new life and promise into this landscape. Thank you so very much for your contribution to this good news story!
monitoring at Lot 46 (photo MFaught)
Leaf Litter sample (photo MFaught)
A rapidly closing canopy (MFaught)
The disappearing sky (MFaught)
Beautiful closed canopy (MFaught)