With your help, we've done it again! We've reached our fundraising target and Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive can now be purchased and protected. This ensures this special Daintree Rainforest property will be managed for conservation outcomes and not be used for residential development.
Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive and its 3.75 hectares of critical Daintree Rainforest habitat. Settlement on the purchase of this property is now scheduled for the 20th of September 2022. This has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Rainforest 4 Foundation donors and the supporters of our partners at HalfCut.
This property comprises two distinct ecosystems that occur due to changes in soil and drainage conditions. One is a Sclerophyll open woodland, which makes up approximately 10% of the area and the other is a closed canopy Rainforest habitat which makes up the other 90%.
Without securing this property for conservation outcomes, it could have been developed for housing and we’ve seen exactly that happen to nearby properties in Forest Creek where this block is located.
This property shares a boundary with the Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area as do two nearby properties we purchased in the past two years – Lot 3 (January 2020) and Lot 2 (July 2021). We can now add Lot 6 to the growing area being managed for conservation in this part of Forest Creek.
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.
Fan Palms and Back Palms on Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive
The presence of Cassowaries was also noted from scats within the rainforest habitat near the creek in the eastern portions of the property. Cassowaries are regularly sighted in the adjoining Daintree National Park and on nearby properties.
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.
Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca viridiflora) on Lot 6 Thornton Peak Drive.
Kelvin Davies, Founder Rainforest 4 Foundation thanked the organisations donors and partners for helping secure this property for conservation outcomes.
“The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests on Earth and provides a refuge for wildlife and ancient flowering plants,” Kelvin said.
“It holds exceptionally high biodiversity and conservation value and is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia.”
“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 and we’ve now ensured we don’t lose this critical habitat to new residential development.”
“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?” Kelvin said.
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.