Cheelonga Cloud Forest Purchase and Protection

Wonderful news! The Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo and the Lemuroid and Green Ringtail Possums will have a new area of protected rainforest habitat. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have raised the funds to purchase Cheelonga Cloud Forest and 18 hectares of critical habitat will now be added to the adjoining Misty Mountain Nature Refuge. 

Cheelonga Cloud Forest

Our generous donors have again shown they want to see our rainforests protected and managed for their conservation values and we are extremely grateful to the 786 people who made a donation to support this outcome. 

The 18 hectares of land is located at Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. A key feature of the block is that it includes a significant section of the creek that starts at a spring on Misty Mountain and flows through to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The property is strategically located between the Malaan National Park and Herberton Range National Park. In addition, the block directly abuts the World Heritage Area. Besides its strategic corridor value also helps buffer the World Heritage Area.

The Threatened species found here are the Southern Cassowary, Lumhotz’s Tree-kangaroo, Lemuroid Ringtail Possum, Green Ringtail Possum, Northern Pygmy Possum, Golden Bowerbird. The Lemuroid Ringtail Possum is now Critically Endangered.

Green Ringtail Possum.

The purchase of Cheelonga protects 18 hectares of high-altitude Cloud Forest and provides an essential refuge for endemic mammals that have nowhere else to go. The regional ecosystem is described as high altitude cloud forest on basalt (7.8.4).

Climate Change poses a threat to a range of endemic cooler climate Wet Tropics species and the purchase and protection of Cheelonga provides an important refuge for specialist high-altitude species. 

Without functional connections within fragmented habitat areas, it is feared that the long-term survival of a range of species will be at substantial risk. The Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo and the Lemuroid and Green Ringtail Possums are restricted to the cooler parts of the Atherton Tablelands and other higher areas of the Wet Tropics. Securing this important habitat was essential to support their long-term survival.

Lumholtz Tree-kangaroo on the Cheelonga Cloud Forest property.

The Cheelonga property will be protected through its inclusion in the Misty Mountain Nature Refuge. A declaration of a Nature Refuge requires gazettal through an act of the Queensland Parliament and provides the highest level of protection for land outside of a national park. 

Our project partners are South Endeavour Trust, a successful registered nonprofit organisation that acquires and manages land for conservation. We successfully partnered with them in 2021 for the acquisition of Oakey Scrub near Cooktown. They own and manage the Misty Mountain Nature Refuge which has been created through the acquisition of two other properties in the past decade.  

The $90,000 raised for this project is being used to achieve the purchase of the land, a boundary adjustment (of Lot 303 NR4636), new fencing, and management of the process to include the land into the Misty Mountain Nature Refuge. As these outcomes are achieved we will make further announcements and include the overall outcome in our annual impact report. 

Lemuroid Ringtail Possum

The purchase of Cheelonga Cloud Forest and its protection through the addition to the Misty Mountain Nature Refuge is a wonderful outcome for conservation and will help species threatened by Climate Change. Thank you once again to everyone who contributed to the wonderful outcome. 

If you have any questions about the purchase and protection of Cheelonga Cloud Forest contact Kelvin Davies at [email protected] or call during business hours at 0437 423 119.

Cheelonga will be added to the existing Misty Mountain Nature Refuge.

Vegetation on the Chellonga Cloud Forest property 

Tree ferns are abundant in Cheelonga Cloud Forest

More information on our land purchase and protection projects can be seen here

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  • Kelvin Davies
    published this page in Latest News 2023-02-02 13:51:19 +1100