NEW $200,000 GRANTS ROUND

29 SEPTEMBER 2020

A new $200,000 grants round for community groups and landholders is all about helping the endangered southern cassowary and improving rainforest habitat in the Wet Tropics region.

Terrain NRM is encouraging landholders whose properties border world-heritage areas to get on board for projects ranging from tree-planting and weed removal to creating nature refuges. The not-for-profit organisation is also calling on the region’s cassowary, Mabi forest and littoral rainforest recovery group members to apply for community grants.

“We are doing something a little different this time and contacting 250 landholders from across the Wet Tropics region whose properties border world-heritage areas,’’ Mr O’Malley said.

“These are also properties that meet criteria ranging from being within the region’s top-six cassowary corridors to being a potential littoral rainforest refugia from sea level rise and storm surges.

“Up to $20,000 will be available to landholders for work on their properties.”

He said grants would still go to recovery team members as well, after four successful projects earlier this year.

“Barron Catchment Care began a revegetation project in Mabi forest habitat at Atherton, Kuranda Conservation helped landholders apply for voluntary nature refuges to expand cassowary corridors, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service worked with traditional owners to restore land in the Eubenangee wildlife corridor near Innisfail and C4 continued revegetation and weed control work at Smith’s Gap near Tully,” Mr O’Malley said.

“These were all in priority areas for revegetation, weed management and habitat protection for either cassowaries, Mabi forest or littoral rainforest,’’ he said. “We are looking forward to starting the next round of projects.”

The grants are part of Terrain NRM’s Building Rainforest Resilience project which includes revegetation work, a landholder incentives program, community grants and ways to reduce cassowary deaths and injuries on roads. This project is supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Mr O’Malley said the Wet Tropics’ Mabi forests and littoral rainforests were less well-known than the endangered southern cassowary – but were listed nationally as critically endangered.

Mabi forest only occurs in the Atherton Tablelands. Just four per cent of the original forest remains and weeds are undermining many areas. Littoral rainforest grows on the coast and is under pressure from both coastal development and extreme weather events.

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

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