Mabi Forest

Mabi Forest is one of the most threatened vegetation types in the Wet Tropics.

Only 4% of the original forest now exists.

It has been listed as a critically endangered ecological community under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Current situation

Mabi Forest occurs only in North Queensland. There are only 861.9ha remaining but the original pre-clearing area would have covered approximately 19,806ha between the towns of Atherton, Kairi, Yungaburra and Malanda.

Small patches are scattered throughout the pre-Mabi area with the largest remnant being found at Curtain Figtree National Park (271ha) and Wongabel State Forest (267ha). Wongabel is very fragmented but these two areas account for 56% of existing Mabi Forest.

The other smaller remnants (often less than 5 hectares) are predominantly on private property with limited conservation management.

What is Mabi Forest?

Mabi Forest is a type of rainforest that grows on highly fertile basalt-derived soils.

It is characterised by an uneven canopy (25-45m) with many tree layers, scattered deciduous and semi-evergreen trees, and a dense shrub and vine layer.

The dense shrub layer of Mabi Forest is otherwise known as Complex Notophyll Vine Forest 5b and includes the Queensland Regional Ecosystem 7.8.3 (Complex Semi-Evergreen Notophyll Vine Forest of uplands on basalt) and 7.3.37 (Complex Semi-Evergreen Notophyll Vine Forest of uplands on alluvium).

Species found in Mabi Forest

A variety of plants and animals make their homes in Mabi Forest including over:

  • 550 native species of vascular species recorded
  • 114 bird species (13 of these species are endemic to the Wet Tropics)
  • 24 mammals
  • 6 frogs
  • 16 reptile species

Animals found in Mabi Forest include the tree kangaroo, Large-Eared Horseshoe Bat, Spectacled Flying-Fox, Musky Rat-Kangaroo and the Southern Cassowary.

However, since the remaining patches of Mabi Forest are so small and isolated, the Musky Rat-Kangaroo and the Southern Cassowary have become extinct in these areas.

Federal and state government roles

Other stakeholders