LAND PURCHASE TO SAVE THE DAINTREE RAINFOREST
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
Fundraising update on the 24th of July 2021.
Fundraising target to purchase and protect this property: $150,000
Amount raised: $600
Remaining target: $149,400
Kelvin Davies and the old-growth rainforest on Lot 21 Camelot Close
The high biodiversity and spectacular old-growth rainforest at Lot 21 Camelot Close at Cape Tribulation justify its immediate purchase and protection. A recent survey by our ecologist found tropical rainforest on the entirety of the 2.306 hectares. The survey also found 215 native 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 and your help is urgently needed to protect this property from the threat of development. A subdivision was carved into the Daintree Lowland Rainforest in 1982. This created Camelot Close at Cape Tribulation. Then houses were built and occupied bringing domestic dogs and exotic plants. This has damaged the most significant tropical rainforest in Australia.
Together, we can ensure this development won’t go any further. All we need to do is buy this freehold property and add protect it in the Daintree National Park estate. I have exchanged a contract of sale and now I need to raise $150,000 by the 30th of September as settlement of the purchase of this property has been scheduled for October.
Lot 21 Camelot Close in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest
The rainforest 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 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 at risk of development. Subject to approval by Douglas Shire Council it can be developed for housing just as nearby properties have been in the past. We must act now to purchase and protect this property and save this now rare example of old-growth tropical rainforest.
That’s why, with your help, we will buy Lot 21 Camelot Close and protect it forever.
The current owners purchased the property in 1986. We are grateful that they have given us an option to purchase this land so we can protect it in the Daintree National Park estate. They didn’t place the property on the open market, and we were able to negotiate with them directly to achieve agreeable terms and conditions.
The property is 2.306 hectares or 23,060 sqm. The price of $150,000 represents a cost of just $6.50 per sqm. This is exceptional value for your investment in nature conservation.
Buying and protecting 21 Camelot Close at Cape Tribulation will be a fantastic outcome for conservation. We have purchased ten three other properties at Diwan for conservation in the last year so we know we can do it, all we need is your help.
Old-growth tropical rainforest on Lot 21 Camelot Close
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.
With the help of thousands of people, in Australia and around the world we've raised the funds needed to purchase ten properties in the last two years. Lot 21 Camelot Close will be one of the most important properties we have purchased all that is needed is your support.
For the Daintree Rainforest,
Rainforest 4 Foundation
Phone: 0437 423 119
P.S. You can donate now online or if you want to donate with a cheque/money order or through a direct deposit please see our Ways to Donate page.
P.P.S. If you have any questions about the purchase and protection of Lot 21 Camelot Close please see our answers to frequently asked questions or email me at [email protected]. You can also call me during business hours at 0437 423 119.
THANK YOU TO HALFCUT
CONSERVATION OF THE DAINTREE LOWLAND RAINFOREST.
The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests on Earth having survived undisturbed for over 120 million years. It holds exceptionally high biodiversity and conservation value and is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia.
Rainforests once covered much of eastern Australia, however, as conditions became drier the rainforest contracted and today the Daintree provides a refuge for many unique species. The Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, Musky Rat-kangaroo, and the Southern Cassowary can be found here, as well a number of endemic plant species that have retained the same primitive characteristics of their ancestors. The flora of the Daintree contains an almost complete record of the evolution of plant life on Earth, including extremely ancient flowering plant families found nowhere else.
In 1982 the Queensland government approved an 1,137-lot rural residential subdivision in the Daintree. This resulted in two-thirds of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest being excluded from protection in the Daintree National Park and Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that was declared in 1988. The development that followed has resulted in fragmentation of the rainforest with the construction of roads and the building of hundreds of houses. Settlement has introduced exotic plants that have become weeds and domestic dogs and traffic that are a threat to wildlife. Because the land in question is in private ownership, the only option to resolve the issue has been the purchase and protection of additional lands to expand Daintree National Park.
Our vision for the Daintree Lowland Rainforest is to buy back land to remove the threat of further development and to address the impact of past development while supporting the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people in caring for country.
While we purchase land at risk of development for housing we also purchase other freehold properties without development approvals to reverse the impacts of the disastrous subdivision by closing and revegetating obsolete roads.
Since 1992 non-profit organisations have purchased seventy-five properties for conservation.
Threat to Wildlife, Climate People and Planet
Daintree Rainforest is regarded as an iconic national treasure for its unique evolutionary history and tremendous conservation value. A number of rare and endangered species are found within Daintree National Park, including the Southern Cassowary, large flightless birds that in Australia are found only in the wet tropical rainforests of Queensland. Southern Cassowaries consume over 150 different fruits and play a vital role as seed dispersers in the rainforest. Due to the destruction and fragmentation of their rainforest habitats, these large charismatic birds are classified as Vulnerable to extinction.
More than 430 other bird species have also been recorded in Daintree National Park, including rare or range-restricted species like the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher and the Lesser Sooty Owl, making the Daintree a Globally Important Bird Area. Many unique marsupials, reptiles and amphibians are also found in the Daintree Rainforest including the Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, Musky Rat-kangaroo, Spotted-tailed Quoll and Boyd’s Forest Dragon.
A risk to the Daintree comes from development for housing and fragmentation of the rainforest, which jeopardises the integrity of the ecosystem with increased human traffic and the introduction of exotic species. Expanding settlement results in the spread of exotic plants that become weeds and stress to wildlife from human traffic and introduced dogs. Further buyback of land for conservation is required urgently as there are calls for an upgrade to Cape Tribulation Road, to build a bridge over the Daintree River and to provide a reticulated electricity supply that would all lead to further development.
The purchase of additional properties will prevent further development to these sensitive areas while protecting and restoring critical habitat for wildlife. It will also allow for winding back past development through the closing of roads and the revegetation of land as habitat for Threatened species.
We have identified this property at Lot 110 Palm Road, Diwan as a priority acquisition. We are working to purchase and transfer ownership of land to the Daintree National Park. This will strengthen protection for the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, help reverse the negative impacts of rural residential development, and offer the best path forward for ensuring the world’s most ancient rainforest continues to thrive for generations to come.
Buying land in the Daintree helps us to reverse the impacts of the disastrous 1980’s rural residential subdivision. All donations are tax-deductible, and receipts will be issued.