AUSTRALIA

Securing the Misty Mountain Wildlife Corridor in Australia

Project Cost: $417,856

Funding Raised: $417,856

$2408 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)

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2X The Impact

Thanks to generous support from our donors, we have successfully reached our fundraising goal for this project.

One of Australia’s highest priority wildlife corridors is located in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area on the country’s northeastern coast. The tropical uplands in this region support more vertebrate species than any other landscape in Australia. This rainforest ridge to reef corridor is considered essential for the natural movements of wildlife across this diverse landscape. In addition, it enhances the ability of a large number of threatened rainforest species to adapt to the challenges of climate change, which are particularly acute in the wet tropics.

While this region has been a national priority, the high altitude rainforests on volcanic basalt have been very extensively cleared and are highly fragmented. Connecting the remaining areas will be essential for the long term survival of many charismatic species of the rainforests of Queensland.

Rainforest Trust and local partner South Endeavour Trust seek $417,856 to purchase one of the most crucial private properties to the long-term conservation of upland biodiversity in tropical Australia. This 173.5-acre property will function as a wildlife corridor and safeguard the remaining missing link to complete a 2,977,000-acre high priority rainforest mosaic in Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Fast Facts

Location
Queensland, Australia

Size
173.5 acres

Key Species (Based on IUCN Red List)
Common Mist Frog (EN), Lace-eyed Tree Frog (EN), Torrent Tree Frog (EN), Southern Cassowary (VU)

Habitat
Montane rainforest

Threats
Deforestation for agriculture

Action
Land purchase to create the Misty Mountain Nature Refuge

Local Partner
South Endeavour Trust

Financial Need
$417,856

Price per Acre
$2,408

Biodiversity

The proposed Misty Mountain Nature Refuge has major biodiversity value due to the land’s location in one of the highest priority wildlife corridors in Australia’s Wet Tropics.

The biodiversity of this rainforest ridge to reef corridor includes just about the the full suite of species in the wet tropics south of the Daintree Rainforest, such as the Southern Cassowary, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo, Atherton Antechinus and Lemuroid Ringtail Possum. A number of these species are considered to be at particular threat of extinction due to climate change. The South Endeavour Trust surveyed the local area and recorded 369 vascular plant species and 92 bird species. Nine bird species strictly endemic to the high altitude rainforests are expected to be found on the property. In addition, three Endangered frogs (Common Mist Frog, Lace-eyed Tree Frog and Torrent Tree Frog) were also found in this area.

Challenges

The rainforest ridge to reef corridor will be greatly enhanced if the property can be immediately secured for conservation as Misty Mountain Nature Refuge.

The property is on the market and already contains some cattle pasture land, so there is a great risk that cattle ranchers could purchase the property and clear more rainforest. Unfortunately, tropical forest clearance to create pasture land has been extensive on the Atherton Tablelands. While a major road passes through the property, three wildlife underpasses were built under the road which have partially alleviated this threat. Additionally, wildlife bridges are planned to enhance the ability of wildlife to move through the area.

Communities

The project is strongly supported by the Wet Tropics Management Authority, the Queensland Government, local academic ecologists and the local community.

The local community will be heavily involved in future strategic revegetation efforts on the land that will be funded by South Endeavour Trust.

Solutions

Rainforest Trust and local partner South Endeavour Trust seek $417,856 to purchase the key 173.5-acre property, which will remove the imminent threats of further forest clearing.

South Endeavour Trust will significantly enhance the corridor value of the property through reforestation efforts in the future. They will additionally seek government funding for the construction of rope bridges over the road for threatened possums.