You did it again! Thanks to our generous donors' Lot 197 Quandong Road in the Daintree Rainforest has been saved from the threat of development.
Thank you - Lot 197 Quandong Road is now protected forever!
Today we can announce the purchase of Lot 197 Quandong Road in the Daintree Rainforest. This is an important outcome for biodiversity conservation as our ecologist identified 170 species of native plants on the property including three listed as Threatened species. The survey also confirmed that vegetation on the property is the preferred habitat for the endangered Southern Cassowary.
Third time lucky for Lot 197 Quandong Road!
We first became interested in purchasing Lot 197 Quandong Road at Cow Bay in 2019. Sadly at that time, we didn't have the necessary funds, and it sold in 2020. Then it sold again in 2021!
These owners had a dream of clearing the rainforest and building a home in the Daintree. Fortunately, their dream wasn't realized and we got another chance when it came back on the market. In May 2022 we exchanged a contract of sale and began the fundraising. Now, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors it's protected forever!
A Southern Cassowary in Cow Bay
The development of Lot 197 Quandong Road for housing would have required the clearing of important habitat for Gliders, Possums, Snakes, Birds, and other tree-dwelling animals. Settlement in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest results in fragmentation of the ecosystem, this creates what ecologists call the 'edge effect'. The negative impacts include a changed microclimate and an overall decline in the quality of the habitat for plants and animals.
Forest Red Gum canopy over a diverse rainforest ecosystem
Lot 197 has exceptional conservation values.
The most important habitat feature on Lot 197 Quandong Road is the presence of very tall (35m high) Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) as they possess large hollow-bearing limbs.
One likely inhabitant of these hollows is the Striped Possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata). This shy, solitary animal, ventures out at night to munch on flowers, fruits, beetle larvae, and pollen. During the day, it rests on a bed of leaves inside a tree hollow or sometimes in a clump of ferns.
The Striped Possum lives only in the lowland and upland forests of the Wet Tropics region of north Queensland. The striped possum is hard to mistake, with its bold, skunk-like appearance of striking black and white stripes along its body and a white tip to its tail. They have elongated slightly furred toes.
Striped Possum in the Daintree Rainforest - Photo by David White
The survey of Lot 197 Quandong Road at Cow Bay by ecologist and botanist Kristopher Kupsch identified 170 plant species of native plants on the 1-hectare property. Three of these plants are listed as Threatened species in the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
The most significant plant species identified on Lot 197 Quandong Road was Gray’s Walnut (Endiandra grayi). It is a large growing Laurel tree and is listed as a “Vulnerable” species and only found between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation in lowland rainforest. Its large seeds are solely dispersed by the Southern Cassowary.
Noah's Walnut (Endiandra microneura) is also found on lot 197 and is listed as “Near Threatened”. There is an abundance of seedlings, presumably from dispersal by the Southern Cassowary as mature specimens are absent from the site. This species is only found naturally within the Daintree rainforests predominately north of the Daintree River and south of Cape Tribulation.
Another unique species identified by one sole specimen on lot 197 is the Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii) and is listed as “Near Threatened”. This small understorey tree species produces white tubular flowers which are very fragrant. It is only found north of Cairns and south of Cooktown often in transitional forests.
Daintree Gardenia was found on Lot 197 Quandong Road
The purchase and protection of Lot 197 Quandong Road was supported by Jimmy and his partner Jess, the founders of the non-profit organisation HalfCut.
“We started HalfCut to raise awareness about the fact that half of the world’s forests have been destroyed,” Jess said.
“People assume that the Daintree is already protected, but that’s not the case. We’ve seen properties being cleared for houses every time we’ve visited. We can’t allow that to continue to happen.”
"We are thrilled that another block has been saved."
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. The Rainforest 4 Foundation and HalfCut recognise that we are Stronger Together and now we collaborate to raise funds for the buyback of properties in the Daintree Rainforest.