WET TROPICS BIODIVERSITY
PROTECTING HABITAT FOR NATIVE PLANTS AND ANIMALS
The Wet Tropics has the greatest biodiversity in Australia. We are home to the world’s oldest continuously living rainforest and the 8,000 year old Great Barrier Reef as well as many rare species not found anywhere else. Despite taking up just 0.26% of Australia’s total area, this bio-region contains half of Australia’s bird species, one third of its mammals, about 3000 plant species and over 600 different coral species.
Many of these species are under threat from land clearing, urban development, invasive species and climate change. Terrain NRM works in partnership with local governments, community conservation groups and industry to improve the condition, extent and connectivity of habitat corridors for threatened species.
Our work involves:
- Providing technical advice to recovery teams
- Advising landholders about habitat management
- Developing recovery action plans
- Raising community awareness about threats
- On-ground activities like revegetation, weed management and controlled burns
Current Wet Tropics biodiversity projects:
THREATENED SPECIES – OUR REGIONAL PRIORITIES
Southern Cassowaries are large flightless birds. They are listed as endangered. In Australia, cassowaries are only found in Far North Queensland – in the Wet Tropics and Cape York regions. The extent, condition and connectivity of their habitat has been significantly reduced by development. The leading recorded cause of cassowary deaths is vehicle strikes.
This endangered gliding possum can only be found in a small pocket of northern Queensland, largely in the Wet Tropics. The last population estimate was 1500 to 2000. Less than half of the mahogany glider’s original habitat remains, and it is badly fragmented. Protecting this habitat and establishing wildlife corridors is critical to the survival of mahogany gliders.
BROAD-LEAFED TEA TREE
Broad-leafed tea tree is listed as an endangered ecological community. It grows in the high-rainfall area of coastal North Queensland, and the Wet Tropics region is home to just over 30 per cent of remaining woodlands.
Mabi forest is a critically endangered rainforest ecological community. It is only found in North Queensland. Just four per cent of the original forest remains, with the largest areas in the Wet Tropics’ Curtain Figtree National Park and Wongabel State Forest on the Atherton Tablelands. Mabi forest is highly fragmented, and 41% is on freehold land.
Littoral rainforest is also a critically endangered ecological community. This rainforest grows right on the coast, and faces pressure from both directions through coastal development as well as coastal erosion and inundation.
The ant plant is listed as vulnerable and as one of Australia’s top-30 priority plant species for recovery under the Threatened Species Strategy. Ant plants grow in open woodland dominated by broad leaf tea-tree, or mangroves. Their main threats are habitat loss and fragmentation, thickening woodlands and weeds.