PURCHASE OF LOT 6 THORNTON PEAK DRIVE, FOREST CREEK IN THE DAINTREE LOWLAND RAINFOREST
Action: Purchase Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive (RP 738519)
Area: 3.75 hectares
Location: Forest Creek, Queensland.
Vegetation type: Lot 6 comprises two distinct ecosystems by changes in soil/drainage conditions. One a Sclerophyll open woodland and the other a closed canopy Tropical Rainforest habitat
Endangered Ecological Community: Lowland tropical rainforest of the Wet Tropics ecological community is listed in the Endangered Category under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii), Climbing Pandan (Freycinetia excelsa), Ant Plant (Myrmecodia beccarii)
Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive at Forest Creek
Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive at Forest Creek is a freehold property in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest that provides habitat for the endangered Southern Cassowary and the rare Bennett's Tree-kangaroo. It can be developed for housing just as nearby properties have been in the past. In the recent past rainforest on nearby properties in Forest Creek have been cleared for rural residential development. Our purchase of Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive will ensure this important property is protected forever.
Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive at Forest Creek
Lot 6 comprises two distinct ecosystems that occur due to changes in soil/drainage conditions. One is a Sclerophyll open woodland and the other is a closed canopy Rainforest habitat. Fan Palms (Licuala ramsayi) occur on the property and the species delineates the two main types of vegetation — the sclerophyll vegetation (sclerophyll forests generally are dominated by plants that have hard leaves adapted to drought and are fire-tolerant) — and the mesophyll vine forest (tropical rainforest) featuring these Fan Palms in abundance. The presence of Cassowaries has been noted from scats within the rainforest habitat near the creek in the eastern portions of the property.
We have purchased two nearby properties, Lot 3 in January 2020 and Lot 3 in July 2021. Adding lot 6 increases the area of protected land in Forest Creek as these three properties share a boundary with the Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area.
Fan Palms on Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive in the Daintree Rainforest
Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive is 3.75 hectares of critical habitat for native wildlife and plants. A small creek runs through the rainforest where the presence of the Southern Cassowary has been observed. The rare Bennetts Tree-kangaroo has also been sighted nearby.
Fan Palms (Licuala ramsayi) occur on the property and the species delineates the two main types of vegetation: sclerophyll vegetation which is generally dominated by plants that have hard leaves adapted to drought and fire; and mesophyll vine forest, which is tropical rainforest featuring these Fan Palms in abundance.
Buying land in this location helps us to reverse the impacts of the disastrous 1980’s rural residential subdivision and prevents another house from being built in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.
Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive provides habitat for the Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) which is listed as Endangered in the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992. This property shares a boundary with the Daintree National Park / World Heritage Area. Evidence of the Southern Cassowary using the property was confirmed by dung. Cassowaries are regularly sighted in the adjoining Daintree National Park and on nearby properties.
Cassowary in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest
Endangered Ecological Community
The Daintree Lowland Rainforest itself has now been identified as part of an Endangered Ecological Community. In November 2021 the Australian Government listed the lowland tropical rainforest of the Wet Tropics ecological community, in the Endangered Category under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The listing is effective as of Friday 26 November 2021 and includes the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, from near Ingham (just south of the Cardwell Range) in the south to north around Cape Tribulation. While now listed as Endangered the Daintree Lowland Rainforest is still not fully protected. The freehold properties in the Daintree lowland remain at risk from rural residential development.
Black Palms and Fan Palms on Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive
In 1982 the Queensland government approved a 1,136-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. Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive is one of these properties.
The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests on Earth and provides a refuge for wildlife and ancient flowering plants. It holds exceptionally high biodiversity and conservation value and is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia. With almost 200 undeveloped properties remaining in private ownership, the future of the Daintree is yet to be determined. Will it be increased development and urbanisation, or will it be the winding back of the disastrous subdivision to save the Daintree.
The project to purchase and protect land in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest is a partnership involving the Rainforest 4 Foundation, Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, and fellow non-profit HalfCut. We recognise that we are Stronger Together and raise funds for the buyback of properties in the Daintree Rainforest and their management for conservation.
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