A vegetation survey of Lot 204 Cedar Road in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest has demonstrated just how important it is to the region's wildlife.
Linking the mountains to the lowlands, this property in Cow Bay was found to be home to more than 100 native plants and several hollow-bearing trees, making it an important facilitator of wildlife across the rainforest landscape.
Native plant diversity of Lot 204 Cedar Road
Kelvin Davies with a 'near threatened' Noah's walnut.
A total of 118 native species were identified during the vegetation survey undertaken by botanist Kristopher Kupsch, including one plant listed under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Noah's Walnut (Endiandra microneura), listed as near threatened, is restricted to lowland rainforests between Daintree and Cape Tribulation. This species was found as a single sapling on Lot 204 Cedar Road.
Two locally significant plants were also found on the property.
One small Daintree foambark (Jagera madida) was found on the property during the survey. This tree's distribution is restricted to between Julatten and the Bloomfield River, where it can be locally common.
The Daintree foambark can grow to 30 metres.
The Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus (Polyalthia xanthocarpa) was also found on Lot 204 as a single small individual, not far from the edge of Cedar Road. It is an understorey tree - less than 3m tall - with small yellow fruit that grows in clusters from the trunk and branches. It is restricted to the lowland rainforests of the Daintree, but is often abundant.
Seven exotic plant species were also identified on the property, with a significant level of weed incursion. Through the purchase, protection and restoration of this property, exotic weeds will be removed from this property allowing important native species to thrive.
Bird species an important indicator of biodiversity
The Daintree is home to the endangered southern cassowary.
The presence of birds is a great indicator of ecosystem health. On Lot 204, several bird species were observed during survey, including the Torresian imperial pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa), orange-footed scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt) and wompoo fruit-dove (Ptilinopus magnificus).
Many hollow-bearing trees were identified, which provide habitat for reptiles, gliders and parrots. A cohort of rainforest species were also found to be growing from an old cassowary scat, proving its presence on the property. While this property's habitat type (Regional Ecosystem 7.3.20a) is not listed as essential for the endangered southern cassowary, Lot 204 still provides habitat in the form of shelter and connectivity to nearby sites.
Lot 204 Cedar Road at Cow Bay
A fruiting Black Palm (Normanbya normanbyi) was identified on Lot 204, indicating a decent period of time has lapsed without a significant fire. There are sections of forest on the property such as the northern portions which evidently have more diversity than others suggesting mosaic burning has occurred as a result of the site becoming increasingly colonised by rainforest species.
Urbanisation of the Cow Bay district has undoubtedly resulted in less fire in the open forest habitats and subsequent invasion of these sclerophyll forests by closed forest specialists has occurred. There is very little recruitment by fire-adapted Sclerophyll species such as Acacia, Lophostemon, Corymbia, Melaleuca and Eucalyptus and aging specimens were noted.
Black Palm fruit (Normanbya normanbyi)
About Lot 204 Cedar Road
Set on close to a hectare of land at Cow Bay, the rainforest vegetation on Lot 204 Cedar Road is classed as Regional Ecosystem 7.3.20e, which is listed as ‘Of Concern’ under the Queensland Vegetation Management Act 1999.
Parts of Lot 204 have also been subject to historical clearing, with one of the previous owners building a shed and setting up an unapproved bush camp on the property. Once the land has been purchased, the bush camp will be removed and the site revegetated.
The unapproved bush camp on Lot 204 will be removed.
To purchase, protect and restore the property we need to raise a total of $199,900. So far, we've raised $32,288.75, which leaves us with a remaining target of $167,611.25.
This includes the cost of the land, restoring the vegetation, and removal of the driveway, bush camp and a garden shed.
Following this, our aim for Lot 204 Cedar Road is to ensure its inclusion in the Daintree National Park and that it is returned to the care of its Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people who own and manage the national park.
Please, will you help us save Lot 204 Cedar Road in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest?