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Mahogany bridges tenures in the Daintree

The complexity of managing multi-tenured lands is shown when a valuable Mahogany traverses Cooper Creek across two adjacent properties, one within and the other outside the boundaries of Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.  Section 56 of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection & Management Act 1993, prohibits the destruction of a forest product, but prior [...]

Green Dinosaur Variations

Ribbonwood Well-known to the timber community, 'Ribbonwood' is an attractively grained timber that was extremely restricted in its distribution.  The primitive angiosperm Idiospermum australiense, a.k.a. 'The Green Dinosaur', is an ever-reliable piece of evidence of rainforest continuity over a period spanning more than 170-million years.  It helps to explain why the Daintree Rainforest, on the eastern [...]

Scorpion-tailed Spiders en masse

Until recently, sightings of this rarely-seen Scorpion-tailed Spider (Arachnura melanura) could have been counted on one hand, then approximately fifty of them were found on one tree in our tropical fruit orchard. A star-apple fruit tree (Chrysophyllum cainito), with an abundant growth of epiphytes, was loaded,  but given the amazing mimicry of a dead leaf, it is possible that in the [...]

Red Boobook

After more than twenty-years of searching Daintree Rainforest for all manner of cryptic life forms, we have at last photographic evidence of this rare Red Boobook (Ninox boobook lurida).   The Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) is also known as  Mopoke, Morepork, Spotted Owl or Marbled Owl. This Red Boobook is a smaller bird and a subspecies that is darker in [...]

Climate Change in Daintree

One of the most frequently asked questions on our tour is, “How is climate change affecting the Daintree Rainforest?”. The long term answer is easy.  When Australia broke away from the already fragmenting supercontinent of Gondwana, about 50-million years ago, leaving Antarctica and drifting northward for about 35-million years in what is referred to as splendid isolation, no other [...]

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a genus of sac fungi known as ascomycete fungi that includes about 400 species. All Cordyceps species are mainly parasitic on insects and other arthropods; a few are parasitic on other fungi. The generic name Cordyceps is derived from the Greek word kordyle, meaning "club", and the Latin stem -ceps, meaning "head".  Several [...]

Northern Jewelled Spider (Gasteracantha fornicata)

I recently chanced upon a curious fluorescence 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 Spider (Gasteracantha fornicata), weaving its fluorescent green egg-sac. For many years I had wondered which spider was responsible for the moss-mimicking green pillows [...]