Daintree Landholders and Douglas Shire Council Work to Connect and Expand Forests

Landholders and the Douglas Shire Council have joined a strategic action to connect and buffer forested areas from the Daintree to Ingham.

Bloomfield’s Mt Louis Station manager Ben Morley is one of two Daintree graziers targeting weeds on the edge of the rainforest, while Douglas Shire Council has planted more than 10,000 trees in the Wangetti area.

They are among 250 property owners in important cassowary, Mabi forest and littoral rainforest areas who, along with members of threatened species recovery teams, were contacted by Terrain NRM last year and invited to apply for grants. Projects have ranged from revegetation and weed removal work to nature refuge applications.

Ben and Courtenay Morley said getting involved had allowed them to create buffer zones for World Heritage rainforest, by removing woody weeds along Gap Creek and at the base of Mt Louis and Mt Annie.

Strategic action to buffer and connect green corridors: Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley with Mt Louis Station’s Ben Morley.

“The results have been fantastic. We usually only focus on the paddocks but after getting support, we’ve cleaned up 10-12km around the base of the hills and about 12km on both sides of the creek.

“Among other environmental benefits, the cassowaries now have easy access to water and feed. We’ve learned more about them too, and we document sightings on the station.”

The Douglas Shire Council has planted 1000 trees and managed weed outbreaks in open areas around Wangetti to connect littoral rainforest patches and extend habitat for cassowaries. Both littoral rainforest and cassowaries are listed nationally as endangered.

Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley said grants have ranged from $1000 to $25,000. More will be available later this year.

“We contacted 250 landholders from across the Wet Tropics region whose properties border world-heritage areas,’’ he said. “These properties also meet criteria ranging from being within the region’s top-six cassowary corridors to being a potential littoral rainforest refugia from sea level rise and storm surges.

“We also give project grants to members of the region’s cassowary, Mabi forest and littoral rainforest recovery groups. The overall goal is to support landholders with the most important habitat for endangered species and ecosystems, in order to maintain that habitat.”

This project is supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

About the Rebuilding Rainforest Resilience Project

This project is helping to reduce threats to rainforest species and ecological communities by improving priority areas through revegetation, weed management and habitat protection, and by finding solutions to cassowary deaths and injuries on roads. Terrain is working with community groups, traditional owners and government organisations on the project. This project is supported by Terrain NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

About Terrain NRM

Terrain is one of 56 regional natural resource management bodies around Australia. It is a community-based not-for-profit organisation that works with local partners in the Wet Tropics region so that our soil, water, landscapes, plants and animals remain healthy and continue to support great communities.

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