Survey of Daintree's Lot 257 identifies five threatened species

Our survey of Lot 257 Silver Ash Road has found five species listed as Threatened. Of particular importance is the Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii), identifying Lot 257 is a significant site for this species' continued preservation.

Surveying Lot 257 Silver Ash Road

Before we make a decision to purchase a Daintree Rainforest property we thoroughly assess its value to conservation. Our vegetation survey of Lot 257 Silver Ash Road at Cow Bay was undertaken on the 18th November 2021 by ecologist Kristopher Kupsch.

The survey of Lot 257 Silver Ash Road identified the presence of 205 native plant species which include three listed under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

     1,     Daintree Gardenia Randia audasii NCA: Near Threatened

     2,     Noah’s Walnut Endiandra microneura NCA: Near Threatened

     3,     Greys Walnut Endiandra grayi NCA: Vulnerable

Two species of birds occurring on Lot 257 are listed on the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992. 

     1,     Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius johnsonii NCA: Endangered 

     2,     Macleay's Fig-Parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma macleayana NCA: Vulnerable

The Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii) is common on Lot 257 and represents a significant site for the species occurrence and potential for its continued preservation. They are a small tree that is endemic to Far North Queensland and is restricted to the area between Cooktown, Cairns, and Atherton. It produces white perfumed flowers and fruit that are orange when ripe. It is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992

Please, make your tax-deductible donation now to help purchase and protect Lot 257 Silver Ash Road in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

Each $2.50 you donate will purchase and protect one sqm of the Lowland Daintree Rainforest. Please, donate now

Flowers of the Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii)

Noah's Walnut (Endiandra microneura) is a tree that produces large yellow oblong-shaped fruits that are dispersed by the Southern Cassowary. The species is only found naturally within the Daintree rainforest predominately north of the Daintree River and south of Cape Tribulation. This tree is noticeable in the forest as it produces a vibrant display of limp red new leaves. It is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1992. 

Gray’s Walnut (Endiandra grayi) is a large growing Laurel tree only found between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation in lowland rainforest below 40m asl. Its large seeds are dispersed solely by the Southern Cassowary. It has a large leaf with a distinctive glaucous whitish underside. Gray’s Walnut was identified as young saplings on Lot 257. 

Other significant Daintree endemics that occur on Lot 257:

Endemic plants:

Another feature of the property is the four species of local endemic plants. They are: 

Daintree Foambark tree (Jagera madida) only occurs in the lowland rainforests between Julatten – Bloomfield. It is noticeable by the pinkish ferny new growth and often single straight stem seldom branching. Its trunk is often completely covered in lichen of various shades of grey. A small handful of Daintree Foambark’s are present on Lot 257.

Daintree Foambark

Daintree Satinash (Syzygium monospermum) is only found in lowland rainforests between Cape Tribulation and Julatten. The tree provides food for the Endangered Southern Cassowary and owing to the size of its large white fruit that it produces straight from the trunk (an adaptation called cauliflory), few other animals other than possibly Fruit bats would disperse it. This tree was only botanically named in 2003. This unique tree species has a symbiotic relationship with Ants that inhabit the trunk of the tree. Little is known of the reason why Ants colonise the trunk of this tree however it is known that the internal structure of the tree is a purpose-built network of tunnels that allow Ants to undertake their entire life cycle, what the tree benefits from this is little known and currently remains unstudied. Mature trees of the Daintree Satinash with a number of seedlings were identified from Lot 257.

Daintree Cleistanthus (Cleistanthus myrianthus) is a small tree only found between the Bloomfield and Daintree rivers in lowland rainforest and again overseas in Southeast Asia. Its seeds are dispersed by gravity which allows independence from an animal vector however the trade-off is limited dispersal from the parent tree and poses the question how the species also occurs many thousands of kilometres in Asia. The species name Cleist-anthus refers to Cleist meaning closed and that the flower bud doesn’t entirely open and thus pollination occurs without the need of an insect/animal. Additionally, myri-anthus means many, derived from the word Myriad and Anthers referring to the male flowers which the tree produces in great numbers. This otherwise nondescript tree is common on Lot 85 and is another great wonder of the Daintree rainforests not found in other regions of the Wet Tropics. This suggests the Daintree is a refugial region from previously wetter times when subequatorial rainforest was more widespread on Cape York Peninsula connecting the forests of Papua New Guinea with Asia.  This species was identified as large mature specimens on Lot 257. It displays pink new leaves.

Kelvin Davies with Daintree Cleistanthus

Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus (Polyalthia xanthocarpa) is locally abundant on Lot 257. This is an understorey shrub to 3m in height and is restricted to the rainforests of the Daintree lowlands, albeit found as far south as the Daintree village, the large majority of records comes from the vicinity of the Cow Bay - Cape Tribulation area. It is a recently described species formally recognised in 2007 as Haplostichanthus ramiflorus and then redescribed as Polyalthia xanthocarpa in 2012. It is common where it occurs but has a very restricted occurrence. The Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus (Polyalthia xanthocarpa) is common on Lot 257.

Kelvin Davies with Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus

Please, make your tax-deductible donation now to help purchase and protect Lot 257 Silver Ash Road in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

Each $2.50 you donate will purchase and protect one sqm of the Lowland Daintree Rainforest. Please, donate now

Other significant plants:

Specimens of Hope’s Cycad (Lepidozamia hopei) occur on Lot 257. Predominately in association with the stream edge that delineates the western boundary of the property. This species of Cycad is the largest growing in the world and was once utilised by Aboriginal people as a food source. It has evolutionary links dating back some 200 million years and along with other ancient species form some of the reasons why the Wet Tropics World Heritage area has been afforded protection within the National Parks estate.

Of note from Lot 257 were 6 species of native Palms, 20 species of native Laurels including 2 species of conservation significance, 13 species in the Rubiaceae family including the Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii) and 12 species within the Sapindaceae family.


Observed during the vegetation survey. was observed as was a Spotted Tree Monitor (Varanus scalaris) and the Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptiliopus magnificus).

Spotted Tree Monitor (Varanus scalaris). Pic by David White 

Macleay's Fig-Parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma macleayana. Pic by David White 

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptiliopus magnificus). Pic by Steven Nowakowski


Lot 257 has minimal to no exotic weed species. 


  1. Acquisition of this freehold property will provide an opportunity for it to be managed for conservation and protect the significant natural values including the five Threatened species listed under legislation. It will also link two isolated areas of the Daintree National Park.
  2. Monitor for the presence of Cassowaries and other significant faunal species.
  3. Survey for aquatic organisms especially Frogs.  

Please, make your tax-deductible donation now to help purchase and protect Lot 257 Silver Ash Road in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

Each $2.50 you donate will purchase and protect one sqm of the Lowland Daintree Rainforest. Please, donate now

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  • Kelvin Davies
    published this page in Latest News 2022-02-07 15:40:43 +1100