New project helps Mabi forest, cassowaries…

July 24, 2019

The endangered southern cassowary is one of the winners in a new $1.9 million project to increase rainforest resilience in the Wet Tropics region.

Cassowaries and the habitat they live in are under the spotlight in a four-year ‘Building Rainforest Resilience’ project, which will include revegetation work, a landholder incentives program, community grants and weed management.

The project is supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley said work would also centre on the Wet Tropics’ Mabi forests and littoral rainforests.

“These two ecological communities are less well known than the endangered southern cassowary but both are listed nationally as critically endangered,’’ he said. 

“We will be working with cassowary, Mabi and littoral rainforest recovery groups, with Traditional Owners, landholders and the wider community to get the best possible multi-species outcomes from this project.

“We will also be establishing a Rainforest Recovery Network to help with the initiative.”

Mabi forest is a type of rainforest that only occurs on North Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands. Just four per cent of the original forest remains, with weeds undermining many areas. 

Littoral rainforest is rainforest growing right on the coast. It faces pressure from both directions through coastal development and extreme weather events.

Mr O’Malley said the project would help to reduce threats to these rainforest species and ecological communities by improving their condition and extent in priority areas through revegetation, weed management and habitat protection, and by finding solutions to cassowary deaths and injuries on roads.

He said Terrain NRM was also working with Cape York NRM so that together they could maximise benefits for cassowaries and littoral rainforest in Far North Queensland.

For information about the Building Rainforest Resilience Project, contact Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley on 0437 728 190 or email tony.omalley@terrain.org.au