Rainforest Revelations – Cooper Creek Wilderness
Rainforest Revelations by Cooper Creek Wilderness is a running weblog of Daintree Rainforest news, including fauna and flora observations and photography, from the human inhabitants in the middle of the oldest rainforest in the world.
On the 9th December 1988, almost nine thousand square kilometres of tropical North Queensland, between Townsville and Cooktown, was inscribed onto the prestigious World Heritage List. In an unprecedented act, the Australian Federal Government compulsorily included some strategically important rainforest on privately-held lands, enabling a very restricted World Heritage human inhabitancy.
Reporting details of experiences acquired in this field, against the legislative and administrative provisions Australia has adopted for the application of the World Heritage Convention, is obligatory. Rainforest Revelations allows for public reporting with the passage of time. After quarter of a century within the World Heritage estate, the running report is driven more by the requirements of the rainforest, as it is expressed through its human inhabitants, than the objectivity of earlier reporting. No two years are ever alike. The variations of weather, rainfall, cyclones, droughts all play their part in the infinite expressions of the oldest rainforest in the world.
The inscription of human inhabitants into Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area has provide the oldest surviving rainforest in the world with a human voice. There are many aspects of rainforest health that resonate with exuberance and vitality, whilst other aspects are screaming for intervention. Coming to terms with the complexity of this rainforest is an ongoing obsession, but every now and again, insight of the most profound importance reveals a major thread of connectivity and interdependence The articles in this blog provide insight into an ancient and secretive rainforest through the technological window of the web. We hope you find some value in their perusal and encourage commentary as it promotes discussion.
I recently chanced upon a curious flourescence out the corner of my eye, beneath the movement of a small black invertebrate. Upon closer inspection, I was delighted to see the Northern Jewelled or Spiny Spider […]
What evolutionary attraction would lead fungi to produce light? According to the Wet Tropics Management Authority, no one knows why they bioluminescence, but across an incredible evolutionary history, and in circumstances of such consistent windlessness, fungi appears to […]
Boyd’s Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii), resplendent in his camouflaged coating and ornate headdress, had a fortuitous visit this morning. A Giant Tropical Mantid (Hierodula majuscula) made the mistake of walking into sight of the ever-vigilant dragon and swiftly became breakfast.
Boyd”s Forest […]
Forest Flame (Strongylodon lucidus) is a woody vine, also known as Pink Strongylodon. It is flowering prolifically at the present, but its Daintree Rainforest flowers are reddish-orange. The image above also shows a Golden Orb-weaver Spider Nephila pilipes) in the lower right corner, no doubt aiming to catch the butterflies and bees that will be attracted to the colourful display. […]
Chameleon Gecko (Carphodactylus laevis) and Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuaris cornutus) are two Geckos occasionally seen on a Cooper Creek Wilderness Nocturnal Wildlife Tour, from the Family Gekkonidaea, having Gondwanan ancestral forebears dating back 100-million years. Chameleon Gecko (Carphodactylus laevis) is a species in a monotypic genus of Australian gecko. It is the only member of its genus and is found exclusively in the Wet Tropical Rainforests of North Queensland. The antiquity of these Geckos has been used as evidence of a Gondwanan origin.
Cassowaries and humans co-exist in the rainforest. We share responsibility for the protection and conservation of Australia’s World Heritage Area. Cassowaries ingest rainforest fruit, process them through their powerful digestive systems and excrete them in a form that facilitates their germination.
World Heritage listing of the Wet Tropics of Queensland in December 1988 was a conservation endorsement of the highest order that included a range of tenures including freehold land. Never before or since, has Australia imposed a conservation imperative of international dimension on freehold land.
Daintree Rainforest living has us temporary custodians of a World Heritage allotment that is situated on the eastern flank of the highest mountain north of the Daintree River – Wundungu a.k.a. Thornton Peak. The area is acknowledged as containing the World’s oldest rainforest with a continuum of existence over 170-million years. The decision to include our freehold Daintree Rainforest land into the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area placed the mantle of management responsibility squarely onto our shoulders with a primary goal that encompasses the protection, conservation, rehabilitation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural values of our World Heritage listed portion of Daintree Rainforest.
The Daintree holds a special place in Australia’s environmental conscience. How can a rainforest that has existed for an estimated 170-million years remain undiscovered until the 1970’s? How can a rainforest containing an unsurpassed richness of ancient, primitive and endemic plants be forgotten and lost?
When I was asked to write about my transition from the open cut brown coal mines of Yallourn in Victoria, where I was born and bred, to the rich, diverse and very green Daintree Rainforest in northern Queensland, it occurred to me that 50-million years ago, when Australia participated in the final fragmentation of Gondwana by splitting away from Antarctica, the entire Australian continent was covered in ancient rainforest.
A significant aspect of living in the Daintree Rainforest comes from knowledge of past inhabitants and their impacts on the land. The power given to governments to make decisions that seriously affect human capacity to live in harmony with the natural environment is important to this discussion.
Spectacular old-growth rainforest is presented through the accumulated knowledge […]