Australian Rainforest Foundation, Cairns, Australiahttp://www.arf.net.au
Raised so far: $25,267.24
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Australian Rainforest Foundation, Cairns, Australiahttp://www.arf.net.au
Purchase, protect, and replant land in one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical rainforests, which contains rare and threatened flora and fauna.
The World Heritage Listed tropical rainforest in Australia contains one of the highest numbers of plant and animal species that are threatened with extinction in the world. The Australian Rainforest Foundation is dedicated to habitat rehabilitation, education and research. Land purchase will protect these ancient plants and create wildlife corridors for continued species survival. The rainforest will benefit from this land protection and extension by maintaining its mega biodiversity.
Purchasing land will ensure its protection as a nature refuge. Extending and repairing the rainforest by planting the right tree in the right place will provide ongoing habitat for rainforest fauna.
Preserving this ancient rainforest will give future generations the prospect of new medicines. Protecting this forest will store thousands of tons of carbon in the forest's biomass, and re-vegetating cleared land will give us oxygen.
End of year brings change
The last three months has been busy in finalising
our rehabilitation of the many rainforest blocks in the Daintree.
September saw the last of this year’s tree planting
as the hot weather heralded the onset of the wet season. We had some good rain
in October and November but the 30 degree days made field work uncomfortable
and we even had to water some recent tree plantings to ensure their survival.
The tropical north of Australia is expecting a good wet
season this year, which usually runs from November to March and it is the
weather that actually determines our work schedule in rainforest
In the coming months we will be undertaking
essential maintenance of our plant and equipment. The very nature of operating
in a tropical environment means regular and often costly maintenance. This
period is also one for site maintenance such as fence and track repair and also
a time for seed collection and grow out in our nursery.
Donors keep the faith
The 2011 year has been a tough one for many
businesses and individuals and consequently, many charities have found
maintaining donations quite difficult.
We were no exception. However most of our regular
donors have maintained the faith and for this we are extremely grateful.
A number of our supporters have arrived in the
tropical north, some unannounced, to have a look at the rehabilitation sites
and find trees they have purchased.
Thanks to our Conservation Officer, Adrian ‘Golly’
Watson, who gave up his leave and weekends on occasions, we managed to
accommodate most requests for field visits.
living outside of the tropics it is hard to appreciate what the wet season can
bring. For us, 10 feet a year is not uncommon. Now, that’s a lot of water.
Working with the weather is never an easy task
During the dry season in the Daintree rainforest, which usually runs
from April to December, the ARF works hard at rehabilitating the
many rainforest blocks it has acquired.
However, by the time September comes around, 36 degree Celcius days
and high humdity makes tree planting more difficult. It is during
the September to December period that the Foundation starts seed
collecting for the next year’s planting and keeps on top of the never
ending weed control, site and machinery maintenance.
The July to September period this year saw a new milestone achieved
with Angsana Great Barrier Reef Resort (part of the Banyan Tree Group)
planting its 10,000th tree in the Daintree on ARF land; and the Westpac
Bank group from Far North Queensland came back to plant another
200 trees on their growing rainforest reserve at Cape Tribulation.
Following the tropical cyclone Yasi in February 2011, conservation efforts have been centred on cleaning up the damage to vegetation. However since February we have continued to experience greater than average rainfall, making site clean up and weed control almost impossible. It has only been in the early part of May that we have been able to get vehicles and equipment back on site and as the photographs show, the weed reinfestation has been significant. (see “Over the Creek Blu…..” image shows the extent of weed reinfestation with the trees planted in late 2010 just popping up amongst the weeds)
The next few months will be spent dealing with the weeds in preparation for the next 4,000 trees due to be planted in the dry season between June and November.
In the meantime, we have been collecting seeds and growing out a number of seedlings in our Daintree nursery. ( see attached photos) This is an important task as most of the trees used in rehabilitation must come from the local area. We currently have around 15 different tree species in the nursery and through collection and purchase from commercial nurseries; this will rise to almost 100 different species ready for revegetation plantings later in the year.
Thank you for your continued support friends and I look forward to updating you soon on other Australian Rainforest Foundation activity in the George Mansford Reserve!
This Project Update will be short and to the point. We need your help today. If history teaches us anything, it is that time is of the essence right after a major catastrophe. Although Cyclone Yasi had mercy on the bigger metropolitan cities of Far North Queensland, it showed no such restraint on wildlife habitat. The Cassowary Coast took a direct hit and many parts of the Daintree rainforest were damaged as well. There is a lot we can't do, but there is an awful lot that we can do. But we need your help and we need your financial support.
Fruit trees are a major source of food for wildlife and most of these trees have been defoliated--stripped clean. Major food operations are underway including setting up food stations near known heavy wildlife traffic, aerial food drops in the denser jungle regions and a massive restoration and revegetation program to extend the rainforest and protect the old-growth/mature rainforest. Below are key reasons why we need to act now and get the job done:
Cyclone Yasi Update--3/2/2011 at 14:30 hours.
Cyclone Yasi has devastated the coastal area between Innisfail, Mission Beach and Tully. This is prime rainforest habitat (called the Cassowary Coast) for the endangered Southern Cassowary, the 'Gardener of the Rainforest' in Tropical North Queensland. Not a tree standing in downtown Mission Beach. 90% of banana production destroyed. The World Heritage Listed Daintree rainforest wasn't hit as hard. This is prime cassowary habitat as well, along with rare and endangered flora and fauna, tree kangaroos, wallaby, cockatoos, etc...
ARF has a rainforest block (145 acres) in the worst hit area--Mission Beach. As of tonight, no word on condition of rainforest which was 90% old-growth rainforest. I will update this project again tomorrow night. Please know--this is shaping up to be a wildlife and habitat tragedy in this part of the region. The only good news (possibly) is that the World Heritage Listed Daintree rainforest might have been spared a real heartbreaking loss. We'll know more about this tomorrow. But World Heritage Listed rainforest and its wildlife south of Cairns is in real serious trouble. We have a lot of work to do! Please donate if you can and please ask a friend. Updates on First Response/Disaster Recovery operations will be forthcoming.
We would like to amend the last Project Update--Free gift with your donation of $65 or more. We have 15 cassowary chicks and 6 cassowary adult stuffed animals, 8 black Operation Big Bird tote bags and 11 packages of Far North Soaps which are a Lavender soap made with Australian Lavender essential oil. This means we have 40, not 38 free gifts to give out to the first 40 donations of $65 or more.
Thank you very much and we will let you know if more free gifts will be available in the future.
Word from the North Pole is that Santa is a big fan of our project, Protect Vital Rainforest in Australia for Climate. So much in fact, that he has given us gifts to give out to the next 38 donors that make donations of $65 or more. We at the Australian Rainforest Foundation are extremely grateful for Santa's kind gesture and are very excited to offer these gifts to those that give to our worthy cause.
We have 15 cassowary chicks and 6 adult cassowary stuffed animals along with 8 black Operation Big Bird tote bags to give away to the next 38 donors that give $65 or more. Also--we may be getting another package in as well and we’ll update you if and when this happens. All donations are tracked by GlobalGiving and merchandise will be awarded based on a first come, first serve basis only.
Confirmation emails will be sent out to donors giving $65 or more with an inventory of available merchandise. Please then email email@example.com with your choice of gift. If another shipment is confirmed, we will update the GlobalGiving Gifts for Good page with a listing of new free gifts. Then gifts would resume with donation # 39 (for donations of $65 and up) and so forth until our inventory is depleted.
Thank you very much GlobalGiving donors! We greatly appreciate your interest, generosity and support. Please let us know if you have any questions on the merchandise or the on-ground operations in the project site. We are always eager to talk about our work with supporters. Happy Holidays and we hope you have a happy and safe New Year!
Roger Phillips and Paul Medici
Today we bring you a Project Update that highlights the hope that is born when people such as yourselves generously give to a cause--whether ours or another fine cause or mission. A project update that shows the unique benefits of protecting, extending and recovering our ancient tropical rainforests. A project update we at the Australian Rainforest Foundation (ARF) are proud to deliver during this holiday season--be it Chanukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, etc...
A chemical extracted from the seed of a tree found in the tropical rainforest of far north Queensland has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of cancer in companion animals and possibly humans.
The successful trial of the rainforest chemical EBC-46, to treat solid tumors with rapid healing of the tumor site and no significant side effect has been celebrated not only by veterinarians and animal lovers, but has been held up by the ARF and other conservationists as a key reason for the protection, extension and recovery of Australia's rainforests. Recently retired ARF Director and past Chariperson, Dr. Victoria Gordon, was part of the team at Ecobiotics that discovered the drug after searching tropical rainforest remnants on private land in the Atherton Tablelands of far north Queensland.
Although only in late preclinical development for the human market, the drug has already demonstrated very compelling proof of concept of the drug's efficacy and safety in cancer models in mice and successful treatment of solid tumors in dogs, cats and horses. EBC-46 will go on trials for humans in Australia in 2011. Further information can be found at www.qbiotics.com
Every tree planted, every feral pig trapped, every invasive weed burned or pulled and every square meter placed with a conservation easement on it matters. Revegetating cleared, fragmented and modified tropical rainforest protects the ancient, old-growth rainforest where biodiversity thrives. These zones serve as buffers to pristine rainforest and provide habitat for rare, threatened and endangered animal species. This is called secondary rainforest (primary rainforest being the old-growth rainforest) and this is rainforest your donations are helping come to life. Protecting primary rainforest and extending the World Heritage Listed rainforest allows ecologists, researchers and chemists the opportunity to recover riches only an ancient tropical rainforest such as ours can provide. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) lists the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics region of Tropical North Queensland as having the highest concentration of ancient plant families (9 out of 12) in the world. This means our work is special and your support is vital.
Dr. Victoria Gordon is now the Australian Rainforest Foundation's (ARF) Chief Scientific Advisor. Work like Dr. Gordon's is truly humbling and it feeds our passion, strengthens our resolve and lifts our spirits high. Our work is a journey in the preservation of life and we can't do it without you--our GlobalGiving donors and corporate friends.
We hope you'll consider another contribution to our Project, Protect Vital Rainforest in Australia for Climate and help strengthen our resolve. There is no telling what medicinal treasures lurk deep inside these wild and tangled tropical rainforests. Survival rates for childhood Leukemia have increased to 99% and Hodgkin's disease to 80% thanks to chemicals from the Madagascar rosy periwinkle and drugs such as cortisone are manufactured from Mexican yams.
We can hope for brighter days ahead for many other diseases and we promise to continue utilizing your generous donations on protection, extension and recovery efforts and to shape the hope all around us into solid gains. We have just finished planting the 4000th tree in the Mansford Reserve. Over the wet season, which runs from November to March, our Conservation Officer Adrian Watson will be collecting seeds from the forest to grow out in our nursery for planting next year. He will also be watching the rain since many times during monsoon season the main road leading to and from the conservation office falls in danger of being washed out.
As always-- we thank you for your generosity and your action. Action makes all the difference and your support means the world to us and to future generations.
Roger Phillips & Paul Medici
The Australian Rainforest Foundation (ARF) received some great pictures last week from a partner of ours and a fellow member of the International Casowary Recovery Team which the ARF co-founded back in 2008. Annabelle Ollson is a veterinarian in Cairns, Queensland and she is a very important part of the cassowary recovery effort. She takes in and travels around Tropical North Queensland helping injured and sick cassowary. From car strikes, to dog bites to feral pigs chasing cassowary out of their habitat, without first responders and vets like Annabelle, injured cassoway wouldn't stand much of a chance. Recognizing first responders and community/grassroots operations is absolutely necessary and the Australian Rainforest Foundation is proud to be working with people like Annabelle and sharing some of their work with GlobalGiving donors. The International Cassowary Recovery Team hopes to raise a lot more awareness to the endangered cassowary and its World Heritage Listed habitat. The ARF is spearheading this effort and please know your donations are greatly appreciated.
This cassowary is recovering nicely and Annabelle says there is a great chance this cassowary will be released back into the wild. This is always the ultimate goal of cassowary recovery and rehabilitation. We'll keep you posted folks!! The final say so on releasing wildlife back into the rainforest is the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. If you have any questions on this bird or would like more details on the cause of the injury, where the injury occurred and so forth, please feel free to write me.
Also GlobalGiving donors, please read the following from Alison McQuade at GlobalGiving:
Facebook and/or Twitter networks. Thank you!"is a finalist for a Classy Award in Most Innovative Use of Social Media, and we NEED YOUR VOTE! We're in SECOND place with only TWO days left to vote. It's fast and free to vote, so we'd really appreciate it if you took a minute to vote GlobalGiving for Most Innovative Use of Social Media in the DC Classy Awards. And please share this link with friends, family and your
Link is http://www.stayclassy.org/classy-awards?city_id=19 Thank you donors. I hope you will join me and help support GlobalGiving by voting for them. Voting ends Friday!! GlobalGiving's Social Media Team is a big reason why this Project is succeeding and your vote for GlobalGiving can help raise invaluable awareness and support for causes such as Climate Change, Animals, Poverty and Education here in the states and around the world.
Roger Phillips & Paul Medici
Wish you could all be here with us. This is really a great time of year to be in the rainforest and experience the majesty and beauty only 135 million years can create. It is also the perfect time to get your hands dirty and get to work with matters of utmost importance. We need to protect, extend and recover this ancient rainforest for future generations and the planet.
We have just recovered from a very wet “wet season” (Nov to May) and are now in the process of preparing more of the degraded forest for replanting. We have now planted in excess of 4,000 trees on the site, mostly rainforest trees that provide fruit for the endangered cassowary. We are looking forward to a great planting season and getting more trees in the ground. The drier weather also allows us to continue with the trapping of feral pigs which cause a lot of damage to newly planted trees and are a danger to cassowary chicks, apart from the real possibility of them spreading disease throughout our farms. With the rain came weeds, more weeds and yes, plenty more weeds. Golly, our Conservation Officer and main man at the Mansford Reserve, kept very busy battling the weeds, flooding (repairing washed away roads), repairing fence lines, tagging trees, tending the ARF nursery and of course working when he could on the new rehabilitation site. Staff and volunteers also played a big hand during the rainy season and this is as they say the nature of business out here amongst nature's finest tropical rainforest. The cassowary were booming, the cockatoos were singing and the Bennett's Tree-Kangaroos were playing in the trees. Rainforests come to life in the wet season as thousands upon thousands of species of flora and fauna spring to life from the forest canopy to the forest floor. Thank you very much for helping us continue with our work. Please know we greatly appreciate every dollar, every dime. BTW--Did you know you could donate to our project via eBay? If you have an eBay account and would like to donate a % of the proceeds from sales, please visit http://www.ebaygivingworks.com/donatenow.html. You can donate as little as a dollar! Thank you again and please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We are here for you and we are here because of donors like you.
Roger & Paul
We at the Australian Rainforest Foundation are happy to be reporting back to you. I would like to announce that on 16 June (next Wednesday), GlobalGiving is having a Matching Day for all donations!! Please, if you are thinking about possibly donating to our project, the 16th would be a great day to do it. Also, if any of you work for a company that offers a Gift Match Program and/or a Charitable Contribution Program, donations via your employer-sponsored benefit would double (and even sometimes triple) the giving power. The ARF is also working on setting up a promotion fit for companies where the ARF would give away trips for two to Australia. Trips would include getting your hands dirty and helping us rehabilitate the rainforest, wildlife treks and of course great sightseeing of the Daintree rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and much, much more. Please contact Paul Medici, Manager of American Operations, for more details. We would love to see some of you mates out here with us!! Paul's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
The month of May sees the beginning of the ‘dry season’ and the opportunity to prepare more of the site for August tree planting. Note the size of the trees that were planted in August 2009 and the tags at the base of the trees are GPS coordinates for survey purposes. – The 2009 trees are now over 6’ tall. Photos also show the effects of recent weed spraying and the construction of what will be walking trails and service trails to the next revegetation area. Thanks to your generous support, the site now been planted with has 4,000 trees of over 100 different rainforest species.
We will be posting our next field report real soon. My name is Paul Medici and I am the Manager of American Operations for the Australian Rainforest Foundation. Great to be writing to you all. I am going to be in New York City this summer (looks like middle July) and I wanted to put on a little donor appreciation lunch for everyone in the area that would like to meet. I think this would be a great way to just say hi, talk openly about operations and thank all of you for all you have done. I will also have some information, reports and Australian Rainforest Foundation (ARF) merchandise on hand to give out.
If you are interested in learning more about this lunch in the city this coming July, please send me an email at email@example.com. Thank you and the ARF looks forwarding to updating all of you on project news soon.
Well, the rains finally came in around the end of October and all is right with our rehabilitation areas. In the Mansford Reserve, we lost under 12 trees out of a total of 2,000 plus recently planted trees. This great stat is due to the care the trees got while in our nursery and our watering efforts during the bad dry spell.
With the rainy season now upon us, we are busy weeding the site and identifying the trees with small numbered stakes in the ground. We are also GPS’ing all the principal trees.
***We could always use a few extra hands so if any of you have an urge to get your hands and knees dirty this holiday season and hear the rainforest calling your name, good on ya! There is always work to be done.
Thank you for a great year and helping us accomplish so much on the ground. Please let us know if you would like more information on our efforts, project and upcoming operations.
Thank you for your continued support of the Australian Rainforest Foundation. We wanted to let you know about an exciting opportunity that we are participating in through our partners, GlobalGiving.
When a donation is made to our project, Protect Vital Rainforest in Australia for Climate (www.globalgiving.com/1842) on GlobalGiving between November 10 and December 1, GlobalGiving will match that donation at 30%, 40% or 50%. And if we raise the most money or get the most donations, we are eligible for bonus awards up to $10,000. Matching funds are limited, so act quickly.
You can help us raise more money and earn the GlobalGiving prize money by spreading the word!
1) Pass along this email to your friends and families and ask them to tell others. 2) If you are planning to make a donation this year to Protect Vital Rainforest in Australia for Climate, please do so by going to our project on GlobalGiving at www.globalgiving.com/1842.
***Also, for all those who donate $100 or more to this project, we will plant a rainforest tree in your name and send you the actual certificate of authenticity. Please visit-- http://www.arf.net.au/givetreepages/tree_for_life.php-- and see how YOUR tree can help save the rainforest!
Thank you Mates and I hope you have a happy and safe Holiday Season!
Paul Medici Assistant Project Leader ARF
P.S. Pass this email along to friends and family!
My name is Paul Medici and I am the Assistant Project Leader for Protect Vital Rainforest in Australia for Climate. I am also the Manager of American Operations for the Australian Rainforest Foundation and I just returned home from a three week working trip to Australia. Accompanying me on this trip was Nicole LaGreco, Supervisor of the Avian Propagation Center and North American Cassowary Studbook Keeper from the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo has been a big supporter of our GlobalGiving project and the Australian Rainforest Foundation and like of all you, their donations (as well as working with some of their excellent bird department staff) have made all the difference. Without all of you, our rehabilitation efforts and recovery work with endangered species would be severely weakened.
The focus of this field report this month is on maintaining rehabilitation sites in the tropical rainforests of Northern Queensland, Australia. This time of year is known as the dry season, but this season has been exceptionally dry. There have only been two recorded rains in the past 7-8 weeks and as you might expect, this poses many problems for the rainforest and its wildlife, especially in areas where young trees are concerned. Larger rainforest trees have deeper roots that can reach lower levels of water in the ground, but the thousands of trees we have planted throughout the year (thanks to our donors) need major site maintenance work in order to keep the trees alive until the rains come.
All of the enclosed pictures today highlight the severe lack of rain in the rainforest. Our Conservation Officer, Adrian (Golly) Watson, is in charge of maintaining these rehabilitation areas for the Foundation. Instead of digging holes, planting new trees with ARF volunteers and mapping new revegetation corridors to link to the pristine old-growth rainforest on the other side of this ARF rainforest reserve, Golly has been busy setting up pumps at the river and watering our rehabilitation sites just like we would water our tomato plants back home in the hot August sun. So Mother Nature sometimes presents us with unwelcome challenges, but Golly is a good mate and he is always there to tackle the challenges, whether on his own or with ARF staff and/or volunteers by his side.
I had a great time visiting our GlobalGiving project site again this year and I have seen firsthand all the work that needs to be done. Our nursery is getting stocked up and we will have more trees to plant once the weather cooperates. There is a lot more work that needs to be done and we would like to plant between 35,000-50,000 trees within the next 12 months. Protecting the pristine old-growth rainforest and bolstering key wildlife habitats and mega-biodiversity is the key and this means pushing ahead with our rehabilitation and recovery work. This work doesn’t come cheap though and we would greatly appreciate donations of any size to help us further our mission. Thank you very much for your support and we look forward to updating you again soon.
Paul Medici ARF
Jacinta Allen McCosh
Out with the Weed, in with the Tree…
Well its June here in the beautiful Daintree National Park, North Queensland, which signals the dry season in the tropics. We have a very busy few months ahead of us to achieve our targets in extending and repairing the Rainforest.
We were lucky enough to have 24 students from St Kevin’s College in Victoria come up and give us a hand in some weed eradication, site testing and clean up. They came in three waves to the site to slog it out by slashing, rubbish removal, weed pulling and of course tree planting. We now have four different kinds of weed eradication tests in progress for best practice in the future. The kids were able to take with them some valuable lessons in caring for our environment as well as splinters, bruises and sore muscles for their hard work, for which we are very grateful.
The dry season allows us to have full access to the site that we don’t have during the wet season. We have found the feral pigs have been in and damaged some hard work already done on the site back in November 2008 which needs to be repaired. We have now completed site preparation of 2000 square meters and planted 800 rainforest trees to start the transformation from degraded land to new rainforest.
We appreciate your continued support and look forward to the hard work your kind donations make possible. Making an incredible environmental impact is not easy, but donors such as you make it easier. GlobalGiving has had such an important impact on our environmental efforts. The ARF is a better Foundation because of all of you and the Project Leader looks forward to updating you soon on this field work in progress.
Jacinta Allen McCosh Office Manager Australian Rainforest Foundation
Project Leader Roger Phillips here. I have some great news to share with you!
If you donate now to help rehabilitate and protect Australia's rainforests, your generous gift will be matched. That's right! In honor of Earth Day 2009, GlobalGiving has offered to match all donations at 50% (up to $5,000 per individual). The match will be available from April 4 – April 28 or until $25,000 in matching funds have been depleted.
In addition to matching funds, we are also competing for prizes! The three projects receiving the greatest number of donations will receive prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000, respectively. Even if matching funds are depleted, the challenge portion of the campaign will continue until April 28th.
We need to act fast! By donating now through GlobalGiving, you will be supporting our project Protect Vital Rainforest in Australia for Climate.
We are very grateful that GlobalGiving selected us for this bonus opportunity. Please help us make the most of it. It's an easy way to get more impact from your donation dollars right now!
"It was a hot and sticky day in the rainforest...the rainy season was fast approaching and hands and knees got very dirty."
In November 2008, representatives from three sponsoring partners joined ARF staff on the George Mansford Reserve rehabilitation site at Cape Tribulation to plant a share of a 3,000 tree quota. Money raised from this GlobalGiving project (thanks to all of you) was also used to plant trees.
This is a perfect example of why GlobalGiving is so special. Your American donations went straight into the hands of the Australian Rainforest Foundation and Australian tourism partners for planting. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to working with you again this year, and making an incredible environmental impact.
More nursery work and tree planting and helping fund vital cassowary wildlife corridors and field studies, are just a few of the things your donations will help fund. Thanks and the Project Leader looks forward to updating you soon on the work in the field.
We are having a very good planting season and we are busy revegetating the George Mansford Reserve with native rainforest trees. By extending our rainforests by planting new mixed species of rainforest trees, the ARF is helping breathe life back into the environment while recovering rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species, including the endangered ‘Gardener of the Rainforest’ – the Cassowary.
With the rainy season fast approaching, we are planting the trees that are ready to go into the ground. Soon, our Conservation Officer will be very busy trying to keep the lush and fast growing weeds under control. This is very important in areas dominated by young trees.
We are updating the George Mansford Reserve section of the website right now and to follow the progress of site preparation and tree planting, please visit http://www.arf.net.au/mansfordreserve/index.html
Here are some pictures of the nursery. We are now repairing and extending the George Mansford Reserve. This will provide ongoing habitat for endangered flagship species like the Southern Cassowary. The cassowary is a large flightless bird and it is known as the Rainforest Gardener because of its incredible seed dispersal abilities.
The cassowary maintains the integrity, mega bio-diversity and the soul of the rainforest. Your contributions help the cassowary and the Australian Rainforest Foundation do its job. For more info, please visit us at www.arf.net.au.
A lot of hard work has been undertaken by ARF staff in the Daintree over the past four months in preparation for the start of rehabilitation works at the George Mansford Reserve. The end of the 2007-08 wet season in April, means that we are now able to get machinery on site to deal with the weed infestation on the corner of the block. This will take place during late May 2008. In the meantime, staff has been busy building a new nursery at the ARF Daintree HQ and stocking it with a variety of rainforest species in preparation for planting on the George Mansford reserve. More than 150 different species will eventually be required for the rehabilitation works in accordance with a specific rehabilitation plan, devised by ARF scientists.
Well, we wouldn’t have rainforests without rain – and we’ve had plenty of it in far north Queensland, and particularly the Daintree region, over the past two months with record rains battering the region, flooding rivers and cutting off communities.
At one stage the wild weather isolated the towns of Port Douglas, Daintree Village and Mossman. Nearly 21 inches of rain fell in Port Douglas in 24 hrs, the deluge was the highest daily rainfall recorded since 1911 for the town (only an hours drive from the George Mansford Reserve).
We do anticipate and plan for rain in the ‘Wet Season’ but so much of it has severely delayed site preparation work on the George Mansford Reserve. ARF conservation officers have instead been concentrating efforts on the new ARF nursery, preparing seedlings for the right trees to revegetate the block.
We look forward to welcoming a group of Environmental Study’s students from Vanderbilt University in May. They are the second group to visit from the Tennessee Uni and will be checking on the progress of trees planted by their predecessors last year, while planting further trees to continue to extend our tropical rainforests. We thank them and all of you for your support in helping save these very precious and beautiful ecosystems.
In order to start the revegetation of the block in March 2008, some serious site preparation has begun. Old cattle fencing has been removed and boundary signage and fencing erected. Further scientific surveys were undertaken in November 2007, which identified weed infestation. This will be treated during the December to February period in preparation for the revegetation program scheduled for after the tropical wet season in March 2008. In addition, the ARF has started a feral pig eradication program through a contracted pig trapper. These introduced pests are a threat to cassowary young and destroy cassowary habitat.
We are also putting our University Volunteer Program into place and looking forward to the extra help on the ground. Thank you very much for your kind donations and we look forward to updating you regularly on the progress we are making--thanks to you. Cheers!