Res­cue rain­for­est

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

GREEN thumbs and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion­ists are in­vited to plant trees with Rain­for­est Res­cue this week­end to restore al­most 30 hectares of World Her­itage rain­for­est.

Three years ago Rain­for­est Res­cue pur­chased Lot 46 Cape Tribu­la­tion Rd near Cooper’s Creek and re­named it the Cas­sowary Con­ser­va­tion Re­serve with the aim of trans­form­ing it into a na­ture cor­ri­dor.

Rain­for­est Res­cue claims 80 per cent of low­land rain­for­est in the Dain­tree has been de­stroyed since the ar­rival of set­tlers.

It has pur­chased 13 properties for restora­tion and aims to plant 30,000 trees on this lat­est prop­erty to fa­cil­i­tate na­tive re­growth, with 1000 trees to be planted this week­end.

Land man­ager Joe Re­ichl said they have al­ready planted about 10,000 trees as part of the three­year pro­ject on land that has a colour­ful his­tory of be­ing cleared for graz­ing, ba­nanas and oil palms.

It was also once owned by Christopher Skase who re­moved some of the oil palms to line the en­trance into Port Dou­glas.

‘‘We are do­ing the reveg­e­ta­tion mainly for a cas­sowary re­serve, plant­ing trees with fruit species th­ese birds feed on and are do­ing a di­ver­si­fied species list across the board, re­plant­ing the whole prop­erty for that,’’ Mr Re­ichl said.

‘‘ To date we have about 17,000 trees on that one prop­erty and we’ve got an­other 20,000 to do so that’s why it’s im­por­tant to get peo­ple in­volved to help restore the place.

‘‘The birds are los­ing habi­tat and we are try­ing to cre­ate a cor­ri­dor be­tween ocean and for­est where birds and an­i­mals can move be­tween them.’’

There has al­ready been an in­crease in wildlife mak­ing use of the large Cape Tribu­la­tion prop­erty with the first trees planted.

‘‘The birds are usu­ally the first to move in, es­pe­cially the pi­geons and other types of fruiteat­ing birds and we have a pig prob­lem, but that’s every­where,’’ Mr Re­ichl said.

‘‘We should have the restora­tion com­pleted in about 18 months and then we will need more properties to restore.’’

To give the Rain­for­est Res­cue a help­ing hand plant­ing trees this Sun­day from 9.30am or to make a do­na­tion to the or­gan­i­sa­tion, call 1300 763 611 or visit www.rain­fore­stres­cue.org.au.

CON­SER­VA­TION COR­RI­DOR: Rain­for­est Res­cue will em­bark on a mas­sive tree-plant­ing ef­fort on Sun­day

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