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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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Jul 24, 2017

Returning Cassowaries

Volunteer Bruce after planting 150 trees
Volunteer Bruce after planting 150 trees

New visitors to Lot 46

In May, we held a community tree planting day at the Daintree Nightwings site. By 11am we had planted 2,000 trees – an amazing result. Special mention needs to be made of our oldest Volunteer Bruce, who planted 150 trees in three hours!

In the afternoon, the tree planting group went on a tour of the Rainforest Rescue nursery and Lot 46 with our Land Manager Joe Reichl, Ranger Basil Byrne and Scientific Advisor Dr. Robert Kooyman. Robert led a tour of the property showing how the revegetation was undertaken and how quickly a canopy is formed using the dense planting technique developed for the site. A short video is linked showing Robert at the community Native Nursery where all the trees are grown for reforesting Lot 46.

Everyone got a special thank you for their tree planting efforts when an adult male Cassowary and his three chicks joined the tour. The sighting of Cassowaries back on the property is a great sign that the reforestation work is getting rewards.

Turning rubbish into a rainforest protector.

Our prototype recycled rubber bollards mentioned in the last report have been transported up to the Daintree. The bollards were manufactured from 100% recycled rubber using no chemicals in the recycling or re-manufacturing process, relying on pressure to vulcanise the rubber crumb. Seven of the bollards have just been installed on a forest road in the Daintree which we are planting back to rainforest.


As a reminder, we were catalysed into action when some vandals illegally drove over newly planted trees at Lot 46. A barrier was needed to stop vehicles from driving onto the land. However, all the commercial products were too urban for a rainforest setting. Having already removed dumped tyres from the land, we wanted to re-using tyres to stop people from driving into the rainforest.

All we have to do now is watch the trees grow on the track behind the bollards. Once they’re big enough to stop vehicles driving into the rainforest we can dig the bollards out and re-use on a new site.

Tree planting crew at Lot 46
Tree planting crew at Lot 46
Cassowary at Lot 46
Cassowary at Lot 46

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