New Online Mapping of Forests

Julie Lightfoot
May 9, 2018

Experiencing the Wet Tropics’ diverse forests is now easier with new mapping showing the best places to see rainforest growing right to the beach and native orchids in woodland areas.

Mapping of littoral rainforest and broad-leafed tea tree woodlands is now part of an online resource covering everything from Wet Tropics forest types, world heritage areas and nature reserves to cassowary and mahogany glider habitat.

Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley said both types of ecological communities were nationally significant, with broad-leafed tea tree woodland listed as endangered and littoral rainforest considered critically endangered under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

“Broad-leafed tea tree woodlands support 15 different species of ground orchid, an extremely high number for a tropical lowland area,’’ he said.

“Some of these orchids don’t grow anywhere else, and they’re all protected.

“Littoral rainforest is rainforest right on the coast. The Wet Tropics supports the most extensive, complex and best-connected littoral rainforest in Australia – and we promote this area as ‘where the rainforest meets the reef’.”

Good spots to visit littoral rainforest within protected public areas include Forrest Beach near Ingham, Edmund Kennedy at Cardwell, Mission Beach and neighbouring Kurrimine Beach, Wangetti, Wonga Beach and Cape Tribulation.

Broad-leafed tea tree woodlands can be found at Julatten, Wangetti, East Feluga and Bilyana near Tully, Damper Creek and Rungoo near Cardwell and Lannercost near Ingham.

Mr O’Malley said Terrain NRM was currently seeking funding through the National Landcare Program Phase II to support landholders wanting to expand or improve the condition of littoral rainforest or broad-leafed tea tree woodlands on their properties.

Visit the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country website to use the Biodiversity Mapping Tool.  You can select ‘Broad-Leafed Tea Tree’ or ‘Littoral Rainforest’ in the ‘list of layers’ and zoom in to your area of interest for the  mapping layers to appear.