The Daintree Rainforest
The Wet Tropics in Australia stretches 450km along the north-east coast. The Wet Tropics in has been flourishing since Gondwanan times with the highest concentration of primitive, archaic and relict taxa known making it the closest modern day rainforest to those of the Gondwanan forests (IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2017).
The importance includes the outstanding beauty of the area of forest mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, waterfalls, river catchments, mangroves, and coastal rainforest areas that meet white sand beaches where the world-known coral reefs begin. The Wet Tropics is known as Yalanji country to the Aboriginal people of Australia and holds immense spiritual and cultural significance to the 18 tribes who have inhabited and crossed the area since time immemorial. It also holds significance for all Australians and tourists who know and visit the area for pleasure and recreational purposes, and who use resources from the area for medicinal, spiritual, educational, and economic purposes.
For biodiversity, the area is recognised as one of 35 international global biodiversity hotspots.
The Wet Tropics fulfils six of the world heritage values conditions: superlative natural beauty, Living examples of ancient and primitive rainforest species, Unique rainforest ecosystems, and exceptional biodiversity, and in 1988 the Federal Government listed the Wet Tropics Rainforests as a World Heritage Area. It is now listed as the second most irreplaceable natural World Heritage site on the World Heritage List.
Interesting facts of the Daintree
While it only covers 0.2% of the Australian land, it contains
30% of the marsupial species
60% of bat species
25% of rodent species
40% of bird species
30% of frog species
20% of reptile species
60% of butterfly species
65% of fern species
21% of cycad species
37% of conifer species
30% of orchid species
18% of Australia’s vascular plant species.
Byron Bay Region: The Big Scrub subtropical Rainforest
Byron Bay is well-known for its stunning beaches, warm and sunny climate, surfing, and rainforest hikes.
What is lesser known is how the beautiful climate of byron bay and lush landscape depends on the rainforest that sits in-land behind it. The Big Scrub rainforest sits in-land from the coastal town and captures rainfall and feeds the creeks and rainfalls that feed the mangroves, the nurseries of the ocean.
Our wok in the Byron Bay Region is based on the vision to restore the Big Scrub rainforest to its former capacity to nourish the landscape and support the local climate and species. To achieve this, we plant between fragments of former rainforest and on farming land which once housed rainforest before it was cleared.
The former Big Scrub Rainforest was once the largest single-tract of rainforest on the Australian continent. At the time of european settlement a single continuous piece of this rainforest covered 75000ha and encompassed at least 454 plant species. 290 of which are tree and shrub species, 83 vine species, 81 non-woody plant species. Its forest origins can be traced to pre-continental gondwanan and indo-malaysian mixtures. Due to pressure from Britain to clear for cattle farming, the export of Red Cedar which once grew in large majestic colonies throughout the area, and squatting, a breathtaking 99.6% of the ecosystem was completely obliterated. What remains of the surviving 556ha rainforest exists in roughly 35-40 fragmented remnant patches. Based on the sheer number of species, the fragmentation of surviving habitat, and the disjunction of pollinators and seed distributors in the landscape, the survivors now face considerable threats of low habitat area for dependent species and genetic deterioration.
Interesting facts of the Big Scrub Rainforest
The remnants that remain have very rich biodiversity, exceeded in Australia only by tropical rainforest.
More than 300 species of trees and shrubs and more than 180 species of vines, epiphytes and other plants occur in the remnants, including tree species whose lineages go back as far as 240 million years.
ReForest Now and our partners are connected to conservationists in Sumatra Indonesia. In early 2019 we begun to collaborate on projects in Sumatra that will expand the Gunung Leuser National Park, which is the only place in the world you will find rhinoceros, tiger, elephant and orangutan living together.