50,000 trees to create Daintree wildlife corridor

July 9, 2018

A dream to create a rainforest is coming true for a Wonga Beach woman who is 50,000 trees into restoring a wildlife corridor from the coast to world heritage rainforest.

Annie Schoenberger began planting trees three years ago on cane land bordering the Mossman-Daintree Rd and Daintree National Park, with a plan to transform 15ha into lowland rainforest.

The largest trees are now 4m high.

“The wildlife is slowly coming back – first the insects, then the lizards and birds,’’ she said. “The biodiversity has increased so much.”

Her ‘Nightwings’ project, in partnership with Rainforest Rescue and with funding from Terrain NRM and the Australian Government, is one of the largest rainforest revegetation initiatives in Far North Queensland.

Once completed, it will be an important wildlife corridor from forest to mangroves.

Annie said the first stage, in 2015 with funding from Terrain through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, was a leap of faith.

“Getting a community grant gave us the kick-start we needed and a huge amount of confidence that it could happen,’’ she said.

“Our first tree-planting was with 20 to 30 people and we haven’t looked back. The most recent one involved over 70 people - interstate visitors and lots of locals. With Rainforest Rescue’s help, we’ve welcomed volunteers from Perth, Sydney and other places who have arranged holidays in the Wet Tropics around tree-plantings.

“Together we have planted over 160 tree species that were typically here before logging and then wholescale clearing in 1960s. We’re hoping this corridor will be the first complete connection in many decades between lowland rainforest and the mangroves south of the Daintree River.”

Annie’s aim is to reach the 100,000 mark for trees planted in the corridor.

The project has also involved the Douglas Shire Council and Kuku Yalanji traditional owners. For more information about ‘Nightwings’ email nightwingsrainforest@gmail.com or phone 07 4098 7502.