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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Can you help save the Daintree rainforest?

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Ancient Hopes Cycad more than 2000 years old. Photo supplied.

Adel Pheloung

After 120 million years of peace, the Daintree Rainforest is under threat.

In the 1980s, over 1,000 blocks of land were excluded from the Daintree National Park and World Heritage area. Since then, around 500 lots have been bought back by not-profit organisations, to try and save the ancient rainforest from development.

Organisations like Rainforest 4 Foundation have purchased seven properties to become a part of protected national park since 2019, but they can’t stop the fight against development just yet.

Lot 157, Cape Tribulation Road in the Daintree Rainforest is the most recent plot of land that is facing sale, and if the foundation is unable to raise the $404,685 needed, an important part of this rainforest could go to developers, as Douglas Shire Council has zoned it as suitable for ‘improvement’.

Native species in danger

The 8.0937 hectares was surveyed in September of this year, and over 270 native species of flora and fauna were found, which included 12 species that are listed by the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 as threatened, including one which is on the National Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC).

Cassowary and chicks. Photo Martin Willis.

Not only are the species on Lot 157 listed as threatened, but the ecosystem itself is at risk. Most of Lot 157’s land is classed as Mesophyll vine forest, which is prime habitat for the endangered Southern Cassowary. Only around 14,000 hectares of Mesophyll vine forest remains, and if Lot 157 is not saved, that number will drop.

Founder of Rainforest 4 Foundation, Kelvin Davies, says ‘Considering that Lot 157 has over 270 native species on the property, donating to buy back this plot is a really great opportunity to preserve the rainforest. We have also confirmed that the lot is used by the extremely rare Southern Cassowary, which has only 1,500 animals left in Australia, making this property very special.

‘Many years ago, I realised that it was very wrong for humans to cause a species to go extinct, and that is what has pushed me to fight for the rainforest for all this time. The Daintree is home to many threatened species, and by protecting the forest, we are protecting those that live there.

‘Donating to buy this plot is also incredibly cost effective,’ Kelvin continues, ‘with each square metre of land only costing $2.50, you can make a huge difference to the preservation of the Daintree for such a low price.

‘Preserving our rainforest is in the best interest of humanity; everyone benefits from it. The rainforest creates oxygen, absorbs carbon, and helps to create regular weather patterns. By donating to buy back land, you are not only protecting the rainforest, but yourself and generations to come.’

Please donate to protecting the Daintree Rainforest or for more information on the work done by Rainforest 4 Foundation on their website.

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  1. Great article raising awareness not only about the rain forest and looking after the indigenous species but also we need more voices that care about conservation. The planet needs more Adel Pheloungs!

  2. My brother recently went up to the Daintree and was horrified to see all of the private property signs there. What on earth is our government doing allowing that area to be sold off in the first place?

  3. The non environment minds of -” gold coaster style livers-” are a disease this country.Premiers are Ego Centred so are the M.Ps..Suggest go more national..southern to attract attentions,supporters,donations..Tasmania,Victoria where Money makers are,but also Land Conservationists- Long-term..Councils are -” Cunning Creepers-” over pristine lands & change their Zoning Rules- according to real estate trends & demands..Money talks😁

  4. Everyone wants to make money and human beings will go to the ends of the Earth to do that.
    I was a tourist in the 1980s and went to the Daintree and there were all these blocks of land for sale.
    Are they the same blocks of land that are for sale today? Maybe not.
    Everyone wants to make money but no one wants to live in The Daintree.
    We crossed the Daintree River on a car ferry and we fed the crocodiles from the ferry and there are signs everywhere “Do not swim in the river”. The place is hot and humid and it is wet everywhere even when it is not raining.
    We had a toureist guide and the guide stopped the 4-wheel drive on the muddy road and he showed how unpenitratable the rainforest was. He walked about 5 metres into the forest and showed us a huge thorny bush about a metre across and asked us why it was named “Wait-a-While”?
    He said because it was springy and if you touched it, it coiled around you with its thorns and you had to wait a while to untangle yourself from the sharp thorns. He told us not to touch any of the plants as there were stinging nettles and other thorny vines. Yes this was jungle and crocodiles could be in there too.


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