Incredible Biodiversity at Lot 3 Thornton Peak Drive

Incredible Biodiversity at Lot 3 Thornton Peak Drive revealed as ecological survey identifies 230 species of plants. 

Kristopher Kupsch

Ecologist Kristopher Kupsch identified 230 species of plants

There’s nothing like an ecological survey of even a small slice of the Daintree tropical rainforest to remind us how biodiversity we stand to lose if these properties are not protected from development.

The rainforest ecosystem of Lot 3 Thornton Peak Drive, Forest Creek in Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest, hosts more than 230 species of identified plants, a number of which are rated as unique, threatened or vulnerable.

On many of the stunning trees on this lot, there’s a range of fascinating symbioses happening between some of the plants and other species, including animals, notably the Southern Cassowary and insects including the Golden Ant and the Apollo Butterfly.

That’s why Rainforest 4 has moved quickly to pay a deposit and exchange contracts on this vibrant and important piece of land. Now, what we need to do is raise enough funds to complete the purchase.

Please donate now to help purchase and protect Lot 3 Thornton Peak Drive from the threat of development. 

Ecologist Kristopher Kupsch, who surveyed Lot 3 for Rainforest 4, remarked: “This lot is so pristine and rich in biodiversity and so free of invasive weeds, that once it’s purchased for conservation, nothing needs to be spent on it to sustain it. It’s a gem.”

Kristopher cited the dominance of the gorgeous Queensland Fan palms (Licuala ramsayii) within this lot’s habitat; the species delineates the lot’s 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.

Really, if you had to pick a singular tree species, one simple ironically identifiable tree to represent the lush, life-giving properties of the Daintree Rainforest, these endemic fan palms, with their spectacular, near-circular leaves of up to two metres in diameter, would be hard to better.

The mesophyll vine forest vegetation on Lot 3 also includes a number of “near threatened” trees and for good reason is listed as essential cassowary habitat under the Vegetation Management Act of 1999.

One of the threatened trees Kristopher cited is the China Camp Laurel (Beilschmiedia castrisinensis), which “has large fruits the size of tennis balls, which are dispersed only by the Southern Cassowary and thus a symbiotic relationship has evolved.”

Another unique tree species Kristopher recorded on Lot 3 is the Daintree Satinash (Syzygium monospermum) “which has a symbiotic relationship with ants that inhabit the tree’s trunk.”

Please donate now to help purchase and protect Lot 3 Thornton Peak Drive from the threat of development. 

Additionally, Kristopher reported that “the most significant occurrence within the sclerophyll vegetation ecosystem on the land is “the sheer abundance of the vulnerable Ant Plant (Myrmecodia beccarii).” Many of these Ant Plants would be affected if a dwelling were to be erected on the lot, he added.

The Ant Plant in Far North Qld is threatened generally by habitat loss, invasion of weeds and by the illicit removal for the plants by plant and butterfly collectors.

It’s an epiphytic, a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic. It lives harmlessly on Melaleuca trees and others with spongy bark in the wetlands and mangroves of tropical north Queensland. The Ant Plant has a special association with the Golden Ant (Iridomyrmex cordatus) which lives in the chambers of its tuber. What’s more, the Apollo Butterfly lays its eggs on this plant. The Golden Ants carry the butterfly eggs into the tuber chambers where they develop as butterflies.

The Ant Plant’s flowers are white and tubular, to 10mm, and the fruit is white/translucent containing a single seed. These single seeds are transported to other trees by the Mistletoe bird (dicaeum hirundinaceum).

Explained in brief, these ecological interdependencies help convey a sense of the marvellous, tangled web of species (plants, animals and insects) that are thriving on Lot 3. However, this land remains vulnerable to species loss unless we can buy it back to save it from imminent development. If you care and if you can, please donate to help us purchase Lot 3.

Please help us buy Lot 3 in the Daintree Rainforest and protect it from development. We need to raise $75,000 and each $5 raised will save one sqm of rainforest. Please donate now. This property on Thornton Peak Drive adjoins the Daintree National Park and is known habitat for the endangered Cassowary. A donation of $25 will purchase and protect five sqm of the Daintree rainforest. Please make a tax-deductible now

Six Threatened plant species have been found on the property that are listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This includes the Thornton Aspen, a very rare plant previously found at only six locations between the Daintree River and Bloomfield to the north.

The Thornton Aspen is endemic to the Daintree Rainforest.

Please donate now to help purchase and protect Lot 3 Thornton Peak Drive from the threat of development. 







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