Land Purchase to Save the Daintree Rainforest

PURCHASE OF LOT 242 WHITE BEACH ROAD IN THE DAINTREE LOWLAND RAINFOREST

 

PROJECT SNAPSHOT

Action: Purchase and protection of Lot 242 White Beech Road (Lot 242 RP 740658)

Area: 1.33 hectares

Location: Cow Bay, Daintree Lowland Rainforest, Queensland

Vegetation type: Predominantly, regional ecosystem 7.11.44, described as Eucalyptus tereticornis (Forest Red Gum) open forest to woodland on coastal metamorphic foothills. This regional ecosystem is listed as a remnant regional ecosystem “of concern” under the Vegetation Management Act 1999. 

Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary

SETTLEMENT ON THE PURCHASE OF THIS PROPERTY WILL OCCUR ON THE 17TH OF DECEMBER 2021. 

Lot 242 White Beech Road in the Daintree Rainforest

Purchase of Daintree's LOT 242 for conservation.

Lot 242 White Beech Road is a 1.33-hectare property at Cow Bay in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. It shares a boundary with the Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area and provides habitat for the endangered Southern Cassowary. The purchase of Lot 242 White Beech Road complements our efforts in Cow Bay where we have acquired multiple properties. This supports an efficient management regime for the conservation of the Daintree Rainforest Cow Bay. 

The vegetation on Lot 242 White Beech Road is intact with no evidence of past clearing. The regional ecosystem on the property is 7.11.44, described as Eucalyptus tereticornis (forest Red Gum, Blue Gum or Red Iorngum) open forest to woodland on coastal metamorphic foothills. This regional ecosystem is listed as a remnant regional ecosystem “of concern” under the Vegetation Management Act 1999. The dominant sclerophyll species of trees are all estimated to be 80-100 years old indicating the last fire occurred at that time. The majority of the vegetation is significantly denser being a diverse rainforest understorey. Since fire is now seldom experienced in the Daintree lowlands it is assumed that this forest habitat will omit Sclerophyll species as time lengthens. 

Tropical Rainforest on Lot 242 White Beech Road in the Daintree Rainforest

To fulfill our vision for the Daintree Lowland Rainforest requires the buyback of all undeveloped freehold properties in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest and their management for nature conservation. Not only do we want to see no further development, but we also want the negative impacts of the rural residential subdivision to be reversed. We aim to purchase as many properties as we can and see them protected in the Daintree National Park estate, as this will provide the highest available level of protection. 

Lot 242 White Beech Road in the Daintree Rainforest / Steven Nowakowski

A subdivision was carved into the Daintree Lowland Rainforest in 1982. This created Lot 242 White Beech Road and hundreds of other rural residential lots in Cow Bay. The houses that have been built here fragment the rainforest and occupation brings domestic dogs and exotic plants. This has damaged one of the most significant areas of tropical rainforests in Australia.

The purchased properties will be managed by the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji as part of the Daintree National Park Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL) estate. This includes the Daintree National Park. The Queensland Government provides funding to the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation to co-manage the Daintree National Park. See more information and answers to frequently asked questions here.  

The rainforest on Lot 242 White Beech Road is of equal value to the adjoining Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area

Lot 242 White Beech Road in the Daintree Rainforest

THANK YOU TO HALFCUT

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.

Thanks to HalfCut and their wonderful supporters for their significant contribution to the purchase of Lot 242 White Beech Road. 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON 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.

Solution

We have identified this property at Lot 18 Daley Close at Kimberley 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.

 

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

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