Road Closure to Save the Daintree Rainforest

Project Snapshot

Location: Queensland, Australia
Action: Road Closure and Revegetation of five service roads

Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary
Habitat: Lowland Tropical Rainforest
Threats: Development, domestic dogs, weeds, illegal camping and dumping
Our Partner: Daintree Life
Total Cost of Project: $49,900

Road Closure to Save the Daintree

In the mid-1980's the Queensland government approved an 1,100 lot rural residential subdivision in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest in Far North Queensland. This resulted in two-thirds of the 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 resulted in the construction of over 50 km of roads and the building of hundreds of houses.

A significant milestone in the long struggle to save the Daintree Rainforest is now within reach as we have the opportunity to begin closing and revegetating some of these roads. We need your help to see this outcome achieved.

Threat to Wildlife, Climate, People and Planet

The creation of a network of roads in the 1980’s to support development in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest was an ecological disaster. Settlement has fragmented the rainforest, introduced exotic plants that have become weeds and domestic dogs and traffic that are a threat to wildlife.

Land purchase in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest for conservation has been occurring since 1993 and hundreds of properties have been acquired by nonprofit organisations and governments. The purchase of a significant number of strategically located properties has made some roads obsolete and we can now begin closing and revegetate roads that are no longer required and wind back these negative impacts of development. It will also restore rainforest habitat for wildlife including the Southern Cassowaries, Spectacled Flying-fox, Striped Possums, Bennetts Tree-kangaroos and Musky Rat-kangaroos. Other benefits from the road closure and revegetation include improved tourism amenity, cessation illegal dumping and camping and removal of the burden on Douglas Shire Council of costly maintenance.

The Solution

In conjunction with Daintree Life we will revegetate five unused service roads at Cow Bay by planting 4,900 trees. This will help create a buffer for the Daintree National Park and increase habitat for wildlife. The cost of growing, planting, and maintenance is $10 per tree, so we need to raise $49,900 to plant out five roads and return them to rainforest. Our partners, Daintree Life will manage the planting of the trees and will hold a community planting day will see Indigenous elders, traditional owner families, and members of the local community all working together to plant the trees. Daintree Life will also care for the trees for three years to ensure they survive and thrive. All of the trees are propagated from seeds sourced from nearby trees and the planting is designed to achieve canopy closure to exclude weeds.