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Oct 24, 2017

Upcycling Waste for Cassowary Conservation

Tyres dumped in the lowland Daintree rainforest
Tyres dumped in the lowland Daintree rainforest

Almost a year ago we told you about a research and development project that aimed to recycle tyre bollards for use in the Daintree. Even in remote areas such as the rainforest, dumped tyres are an environmental issue; especially in prime cassowary corridors.

When Rainforest Rescue purchased Lot 46 in the Daintree to rescue the degraded rainforest site, over 180 tons of debris was removed including dumped tyres. This was a property which represented a sizebale chunk of the unprotected Daintree and hence cassowary habitat - twenty four football fields worth to be exact. We planted over 40,000 trees to help restore the rainforest to its former glory. Disaster then struck in 2016 when drivers in a Ute illegally sped onto the site and purposefully destroyed an area of newly planted trees. Action was needed to prevent this from reoccurring. 

After a number of failed designs from different manufacturers, John Dobozy at Molectra came up with a viable solution using vulcanisation of old rubber crumb – importantly not using any chemicals in the recycling/upcycling process.

The creation of these bollards represent many wins for the environment by stopping vehicle access, protecting trees that we have planted to regenerate the cassowary’s habitat; plus protecting one of the oldest rainforests on the planet and providing a new use for old tyres. This wouldn’t be possible without your support.

"It’s been an interesting process trying to develop a sustainable solution to the problem. Over the past 18 months we’ve learned a lot about reuse and recycling of rubber! Research and Development projects always throw out interesting challenges, but with patience and professionality these have been navigated and now we have recycled tyre bollards in the ground protecting trees and the cassowary’s habitat– result!"  Julian Gray CEO Rainforest Rescue

More good news that our efforts are creating positive change: The Southern Cassowary has moved from Endangered to Vulnerable status, a step closer to a healthy population.

Here is a short video of the Cassowary father and his chicks which we recently just stumbled upon in the lowland Daintree; again proof the corridors are safely being protected.

On behalf of all at Rainforest Rescue, and the endangered Southern Cassowary – Thank You

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This project has been supported through Bridgestone’s Tomorrow Matters initiative, which seeks to find new and better ways of using technology; encourage our children to find solutions for tomorrow; and help ensure a healthy environment for generations to come

The Recycled Tyre Bollards Installed on Lot 32
The Recycled Tyre Bollards Installed on Lot 32
Jul 31, 2017

Protecting a 30th Australian rainforest property

Cooper Creek, Daintree Rainforest
Cooper Creek, Daintree Rainforest

Since we started out in 1998 Rainforest Rescue has worked across the globe to deliver rainforest conservation projects. However, as Australia’s rainforest charity we have a strong focus on our own back yard, rescuing 29 rainforest properties on home soil. Over the past 2 months we’ve run an appeal to rescue the 30th vulnerable rainforest property in Australia.

We’re delighted to report that we’ve met our target in our latest appeal to buy a block of rainforest to create a new corridor in the heart of the Daintree. This will link a key Rainforest Rescue property at the foot of Thornton Peak down to the coast around Cooper Creek, joining the upland World Heritage Area to the coast. This is a unique opportunity to make a strategic connection and help deliver vital protection for the rainforest. 

It’s been an exciting year, with three priority vulnerable rainforest properties in the Daintree rescued to create a new Cape Kimberley wildlife corridor. In addition, supporters have helped protect 11 further areas of rainforest, removing development rights from the land with Nature Refuge covenants. With your support, we’ve also undertaken reforestation work across a wide range of sites, with over 20,000 trees planted on one property alone.

All of this has been achieved by working in partnership with local community and indigenous groups, landowners, businesses and conservation organisations. It's the dedication of our supporters and volunteers which powers Rainforest Rescue forward to Protect Rainforests Forever!

We now have a rare opportunity to build on this great work by creating a new wildlife corridor in the heart of the Daintree. The property is of high biodiversity value and has yet to be developed. Saving this property will help sustain our growing momentum in buying back and protecting vulnerable rainforest in the lowland Daintree. This will be the 30th rainforest property you and fellow rainforest guardians have saved across Australia, helping Protect Rainforests Forever.  

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.

Of the 29 properties saved by you and fellow rainforest rescuers in Australia, 22 are protected with covenants stripping development rights and protecting them forever. In addition, two further properties have been gifted to the National Park. The remaining five properties will be protected with covenants once restoration work and other legal processes are complete. The Rainforest Rescue Board have made a strong commitment to never sell off land for development, no matter what the short-term gain may be.

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Jul 26, 2017

A Cassowary tale

Photo: Madeleine Faught
Photo: Madeleine Faught

Male Cassowaries are very hardworking fathers. They have to be. After the female lays her eggs, the male becomes the dutiful and long devoted parent because she departs, leaving him to incubate and raise the chicks. With an incubation period of around 50 days, the dutiful male remains on the nest so can lose more than a third of his body weight. He needs to be vigilant as left unattended, the 3 - 8 large (4 x 6 inch) and vividly coloured eggs would be an obvious and irresistible invitation to predators.

Once hatched, the young chicks share many of the same qualities as other young creatures – they are curious, active, and have much to learn. Following their father’s example, they quickly begin to forage amongst the rainforest leaf litter for fruit. Cassowaries are predominately frugivorous, but if they are not finding enough of their favoured food they will supplement their diet with fungi, fish, mice and even road kill carrion.

The chicks may stay with their dads for anywhere from nine months to more than a year. This depends on when the adult male decides to chase them away to find and establish their own territories and food sources.

Their natural curiosity can get the young Cassowaries into trouble. Certainly this is true when they venture onto the road and into the path of oncoming traffic. When habitat destruction affects their access to food, they may be forced to cross roads, with vehicles remaining the biggest threat to both adult and young Cassowaries

Rainforest Rescue is committed to expanding and securing continuous and safe habitat for the Cassowary, in both our conservation and restoration work. The greater the land area that is protected for this endangered species, the greater their food sources and chances of survival.

We love seeing the presence of Cassowaries on land that we have saved or restored with your help. These now protected rainforest areas are rich with wildlife, and if a person is very fortunate, they just might get ‘up close and personal’ with a curious young Cassowary. Check out the entertaining recent video linked below:

Rainforest Rescue completely restored this 70 acre lot, and it’s now part of this Cassowary family’s territory. This curious youngster is probably wondering what these other two legged creatures are doing on its home turf!

Your contribution will help us to protect and secure a positive future for the Cassowary and the rainforest! Thank you!

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