Project Snapshot -SAVED

Location: Lot 157 (Number 2223) Cape Tribulation Road, Diwan, Queensland, Australia

Action: Purchase of Lot 157 in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest and protect it forever 

Area: 8.0937 hectares

Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary, Bennetts Tree-kangaroo, Endiandra cooperana, Citrus inodora

Habitat: Lowland tropical rainforest classified as Regional Ecosystem 7.3.10a “Mesophyll vine forest".

Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road, Diwan

Fundraising for this project was completed on March 12, 2021. 

We were extremely pleased to announce the purchase and protection of Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road at Diwan, in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is a living museum and today thanks to the generosity of donors in Australia and around the world one of the most important locations for species diversity has been protected forever. 

While the Rainforest 4 Foundation and its partners are delighted with the purchase and protection of this property, the individuals who deserve the greatest recognition and appreciation are the thousands of people who donated to raise the $404,865 needed to fund the acquisition and protection of the property. 

Kelvin Davies, the Founder of Rainforest 4 Foundation said, “Without their generous support this fantastic outcome would not have been possible. Thanks to their support, this special rainforest property is protected forever”. 

The rainforest vegetation found on Lot 157 is the grandest and most archaic of all rainforests in Australia, possessing many primitive flowering plants.

The high diversity of 270 plant species and the presence of 12 plant species listed under conservation legislation highlights the refugial endemism of this particular rainforest on Lot 157.

Kelvin said “this is one of the reasons the adjoining Daintree National Park was declared as a World Heritage Area. It’s just so important to conservation and to science in the study of the evolution of plants on Earth”.

We identified this freehold property in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest as one that should be protected from development. Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road is 8.0937 hectares in size, and buying and protecting this property has protected habitat for the Endangered Southern Cassowary and other Threatened species.

Kristopher Kupsch surveying plants on Lot 157 in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest 

The property will be protected in the Daintree National Park and managed by the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji as part of the Daintree National Park Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL) estate. 

In 2007, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people signed a series of Indigenous Land Use Agreements with the Queensland Government and other bodies. These agreements recognise Eastern Kuku Yalanji's rights to be custodians and managers of their traditional land and that Eastern Kuku Yalanji people will be involved in managing Daintree National Park. The Eastern Kuku Yalanji are represented by the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation who manage the Jabalbina Rangers to Care for Country. 

The purchase and protection of land in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest is very significant to Bama (Bama meaning Rainforest Aboriginal people), and Lot 157 has been given the Kuku Yalanji language name of Kurranji (pronounced Guhd-un gee) meaning Cassowary. 

Small areas on the very wet lowlands, especially between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, harbour plant species which are extremely restricted and uncommon. Many areas of this ecosystem are considered refugial in nature and are local centers of endemism. Many representatives of primitive families of flowering plants are present, including the monotypic family Idiospermaceae. The ecosystem is the habitat for many threatened plant species”.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

Located at Diwan in the heart of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest – the oldest living rainforest on Earth - Lot 157 is home to the endangered Southern Cassowary. The rare Bennett’s Tree-Kangaroo found here now also has a secure home. 

Before choosing to secure this property for conservation, the Gondwana Rainforest Trust engaged ecologist Kristopher Kupsch to undertake a survey. More than 270 native plants were identified and this included 12 plant species listed in the Queensland Nature Conservation Act. 

Some of the 270 species of plants on Lot 157

Conservation values of Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road  

We had an ecologist survey the plants on Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road in the Daintree Rainforest over two days in September 2020 and 270 native plants were identified. This included twelve plant species found on Lot 157 are listed on the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and one species is on both the State Nature Conservation Act (NCA) and the National Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC).

Much of the vegetation on Lot 157 is classified as Regional Ecosystem 7.3.10a “Mesophyll vine forest. Moderately to poorly-drained alluvial plains, of moderate fertility. Lowlands of the very wet and wet zone."

Regional ecosystem 7.3.10a is listed as “Of Concern” under the Vegetation Management Act 1999. This vegetation type is categorized as Primary habitat for the Southern Cassowary by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM QLD).

The Queensland Government has described the special values of Regional Ecosystem 7.3.10a as: 

Small areas on the very wet lowlands, especially between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, harbour plant species which are extremely restricted and uncommon. Many areas of this ecosystem are considered refugial in nature and are local centres of endemism. Many representatives of primitive families of flowering plants are present, including the monotypic family Idiospermaceae. The ecosystem is the habitat for many threatened plant species”.

The Queensland Government indicates a pre-clearing extent of 60,000 ha existed and today 14,000 ha remains of RE 7.3.10a.

On the property, there are many very large trees reaching 35 meters tall with impressive buttress roots. The trees are festooned with epiphytes being ferns and orchids with large lianas and other vines cascading from above. The Spur Mahogany tree (Dysoxylum pettigrewianum) and Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi) is a characteristic feature of these rainforests. There are also numerous endemic plants with their distribution restricted to the rainforests of the Daintree lowlands.

Many large specimens of Hopes Cycad (Lepidozamia hopei) occur on Lot 157. This species of Cycad is the largest growing in the world and has evolutionary links dating back some 200 million years. 

An ancient Hopes Cycad estimated to be over 2,000 years old. 

The ecosystem type, which is mesophyll vine forest is categorised as primary habitat for the Southern Cassowary. The Southern Cassowary has been observed on the property many times. The diversity of rainforest Laurels, an ancient lineage of the tree, are a notable feature, and Lot 157 contains 18 species, all of which are food for the Southern Cassowary.

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521,352 sqm funded
Of our 1,000,000 sqm protected target
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