Regeneration of the Rainforest

The NQ Dry Tropics Protecting Biodiversity Program is working with landholders to deliver a project to improve the condition and extent of dry rainforest in the Upper Burdekin Rangelands.

Funding from the National Landcare Program has enabled four landholders over 10 sites to help protect dry rainforest communities present on their properties. More than 6000 hectares of dry rainforest in the Upper Burdekin catchment is being targeted for the removal of weeds, including Weeds of National  Significance, rubber vine, parthenium and bellyache bush.

Biodiversity project officer Tamara Large said dry rainforest was recognised as a type of semi-evergreen vine thicket and is listed as vegetation type status “Of Concern”.

“Semi-evergreen vine thicket is an ecological vegetation community that is listed as “Threatened” in Queensland and is commonly referred to as ‘dry scrub or softwood scrub’ ”, Ms Large said.

“Considerable stands of dry rainforest occur on basaltic landforms, and those on the 13,000-year-old Toomba basalt flow are considered the largest, but also the youngest in Australia”.

“These forests can be found in sub-coastal areas, where they are patchily distributed. Many of the remaining, yet often small patches are restricted to inaccessible, steep rocky areas. These  patches are often isolated from each other and are scattered between national parks, state forest and private land,” she said.

“Because of the high diversity of habitats available in dry rainforest, many animals migrate to refugia in seasonal changes.

“A wide variety of animals occur in the rainforest and a substantial number are listed under Nature Conservation Status as Endangered and or Vulnerable.

“A few of these animals are often present in dry rainforest, especially in the dry season and include the Greater large-eared horseshoe bat, occurring on rainforest edges, Spotted-tailed quoll, that use rock crevices as dens in their breeding season  and the Mount Cooper striped Lerista who lives among leaf litter and under logs in the forest”.

The 12 month project will see the project officer maintain regular contact with landholders to provide support where required.

Main photo: This is a typical Dry rainforest – typical species Broad leaved Bottle Tree, and Yellow tulipwood in foreground, ground layer consists of Chrysopogon species and Waltheria nestled among large Igneous rocks.  Rubber vine is present.