LAND PURCHASE TO SAVE THE DAINTREE RAINFOREST

PURCHASE OF LOT 21 CAMELOT CLOSE, CAPE TRIBULATION IN THE DAINTREE LOWLAND RAINFOREST

 

Fundraising for this project was completed on the 31st of August 2021.

 

PROJECT SNAPSHOT

Action: Purchase and protection of Lot 21 Camelot Close (Lot 21 RP 733182) 

Area: 2.306 hectares  

Location: Cape Tribulation, Daintree Lowland Rainforest, Queensland

Vegetation type: Complex mesophyll vine forest classified as Regional Ecosystem 7.11.23b

Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary, Bennett’s Tree-Kangaroo, Noah’s Walnut, Gray’s Walnut

Lot 21 Camelot Close in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest

Lot 21 Camelot Close in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest

The high biodiversity and spectacular old-growth rainforest at Lot 21 Camelot Close at Cape Tribulation justify its purchase and protection. A survey by our ecologist found tropical rainforest on the entirety of the 2.306 hectares. The survey also found 215 species of native plants including threatened species and others that are regionally endemic. The rainforest on Lot 21 Camelot Close is one of the best examples of undisturbed Lowland Tropical Rainforest remaining in Australia. 

Kelvin Davies and the old-growth rainforest on Lot 21 Camelot Close

The rainforest on Lot 21 Camelot Close contains many enormous trees with specimens of Papuan Rosewoods (Dysoxylum papuanum), Cassowary Satinash (Syzygium graveolens), Cairns Hickory (Ganophyllum falcatum), Cairns Pencil Cedar (Palaquium galactoxylon), Tulip Oak (Argyrodendron peralatum), Spur Mahogany (Dysoxylum pettigrewianum), Damson Plum (Terminalia microcarpa) and Northern Silky Oak (Cardwellia sublimis). In the south of Lot 21, the rainforest is even grander with many large tall straight buttressed trees suggesting little disturbance and deep fertile well drained soil.

The native Nutmeg (Myristica spp.) dominate the mid-canopy with the understorey layer having many Hope’s Cycad (Lepidozamia hopei), Walking Stick Palms (Linospadix minor), Polyalthia xanthocarpa, Glossy Laurel (Cryptocarya laevigata), Rambling Spearflower (Ardisia brevipedata), Tapeinosperma (Tapeinosperma pallidum) and the ubiquitous Rattan (Calamus spp.) thickets.  The ground is nearly absent of grasses, sedges or forbs.

Subtle changes in the habitat can be found along the streams of Lot 21. There is an increased abundance of Alexander Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) and also is where Mulgrave Satinash (Syzygium xerampelinum) is dominate. Bordering the stream on steep terrain are ferns such as Adiantum, Crepidomanes and Marattia salicina.  

The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is a living museum and Lot 21 Camelot Close is an important refuge for biodiversity. The undisturbed rainforest provides excellent habitat for the rare Bennetts Tree-kangaroo and there have been a number of sightings in recent years on or near the property. The property provides excellent habitat for the endangered Southern Cassowary.

The Southern Cassowary in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest

Great numbers of species occur on Lot 21 within the Lauraceae, Meliaceae, Moraceae, Rubiaceae and Sapindaceae plant families. All these species are food for rainforest frugivorous birds. The larger fruiting Lauraceae, Endiandra grayi and E. microneura are important food for Cassowaries. Native Nutmeg (Myristica globosa ssp. muelleri) is common throughout the site and a favoured food of rainforest avifauna.

Greys Walnut (Endiandra grayi) and Noah’s Walnut (Endiandra microneura) are listed as Threatened species.

Four locally endemic plants are found on the property. Daintree Cleistanthus Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus, Walters False Uvaria, and Daintree Satinash.

Lot 21 has many examples of Hope’s Cycad. This species of Cycad is the largest growing in the world and was once utilised by Aboriginal people as a food source. It has evolutionary links dating back some 200 million years and along with other ancient species form some of the reasons why the Wet Tropics World Heritage area has been afforded protection within the National Parks estate.

Our survey also identified the Boyd's Forest Dragon (Lophosaurus boydii) on Lot 21 Camelot Close. They are a species of arboreal agamid lizard only found in rainforests in the Wet Tropics region of northern Queensland, Australia. Boyd's Forest Dragon spend the majority of their time perched on the trunks of trees, usually at around head height. Boyd's forest dragons are sit-and-wait predators, catching prey that they spy from their perches, although once on the ground, they will frequently move over a wider area, catching prey as they go.

Lot 21 Camelot Close is a freehold property and was at risk of development. Subject to approval by Douglas Shire Council it could have been developed for housing just as nearby properties have been in the past. Protecting Lot 21 Camelot Close at Cape Tribulation is a fantastic outcome for conservation as it will prevent another house from being built in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.  

In 1988 the Daintree National Park was expanded and was included in the Wet Tropics Work Heritage Area. This should have seen the rainforest at Lot 21 Camelot Close protected forever. However, two-thirds of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, the land between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation had been carved up for a rural residential subdivision in 1982 and was excluded from World Heritage listing. 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the purchase and protection of Lot 21 Camelot Close at Cape Tribulation. 

Old-growth tropical rainforest in the Daintree

Old-growth tropical rainforest on Lot 21 Camelot Close 

THANK YOU TO HALFCUT

The project to purchase and protect land is a partnership involving the Rainforest 4 Foundation, Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, and fellow nonprofit HalfCut.  

Thanks to Jimmy and Jess and all the HalfCut supporters for their important contribution to the purchase and protection of Lot 21 Camelot Close. 

Please make a donation to purchase and protect the next property in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

 

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