Connecting in the Wet Tropics

Wildlife workshops at the Botanic Gardens

The Authority supported the delivery of another informative wildlife care workshop in conjunction with FNQ Wildlife Rescue, North Queensland Wildlife Trust and veterinarian, Dr Annabelle Olsson. 

This introductory course focused on the care of mammals such as possums and gliders, bandicoots, quolls, echidnas and platypuses.

Over 15 participants were briefed in various aspects of mammal care such as recognising the different stages of mammal development, feeding and weaning, safe handling and how to recognise health issues.

The next introductory course is about caring for native birds and will be held on Saturday 15 August from 1-3pm at the Cairns Botanic Gardens. If you’d like to attend contact FNQ Wildlife on (07) 4053 4467.

Wet Tropics photo and poster competition

Over 160 talented school students throughout far north Queensland have entered this year’s Wet Tropics photo and poster competition. The theme for 2015 was ‘Loving every moment.’

The poster and photo competition asked students to draw a persuasive poster or to take a photo that captures a special moment in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

The competition closed on 26 June and a panel will judge the entries over the next month. Entries will be judged in 2 categories - prep to year 3 and year 4 to 7.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Cairns Harbour and Sunset Cruises have sponsored this year’s competition and are providing some fantastic prizes for students and classes.

The 12 finalists will be presented with their prizes in a ceremony at the Cairns Regional Gallery in September.


Wet Tropics at the Cairns Home Expo

Authority staff partnered with Queensland Parks and Wildlife to host a ‘mega’ stall at the Cairns Home Show Caravan, Camping and Boating expo held in May this year.

The stall was a one stop shop and incorporated a number of different agencies throughout the region including North Queensland Dry Tropics, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Qld Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's wildlife unit and the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

Staff members of the various agencies were on hand to educate the wider community about our two World Heritage Areas, camping permits and our wonderful wildlife.

The three day event was successful and a great opportunity to network with staff from other key agencies.


EcoFiesta community celebration

The Wet Tropics community flocked to the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal on May 31 to soak up the feel good buzz at the Cairns EcoFiesta.

The festival showcased the many innovative and environmentally friendly businesses throughout the region, not for profit community groups, government environmental agencies and talented artists and musicians.

The Authority shared a stall with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection wildlife officers. Staff were available to educate members of the community about yellow crazy ants, cassowaries, snakes and exploring the Wet Tropics.

With record crowds it was evident that the community has a keen interest in their environment. Stall holders were kept busy for the better part of the day with a constant stream of questions and interest in their products and information.

The EcoFiesta is held as part of EcoWeek in the last week of May. It was sponsored by the Cairns City Council and James Cook University.



Wet Tropics education at Cairns High

Wet Tropics staff members attended Cairns High School’s Environmental Awareness Day in early June.

Staff members addressed the junior school on the value of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and why we need to protect and conserve our outstanding environmental places.

Minimal impact on our World Heritage was the theme of the presentation given by Wet Tropics staff member Terry Carmichael.

“Sometimes when we are enjoying our special areas we forget the basics such as don’t drop litter, stay on the paths and not to feed or touch wildlife. This was a great opportunity to reinforce why it is important we follow these simple guidelines,” Mr Carmichael said.


International students help revegetation

International students from Small World Journeys have assisted local volunteer groups to rehabilitate an area near Freshwater Creek, Redlynch.

Joining the students on 9 July was Treeforce volunteers, Conservation Volunteers, local residents, Cairns Regional Council and Authority staff.

The group planted 1700 trees between the manicured ovals of St Andrews Catholic College and Goombarra Park along Freshwater Creek.

Tree force coordinator, Lisa O’Mara said that with the help of dedicated volunteers and Cairns Regional Council in providing site preparation, the organisation had achieved an incredible amount.

“This rehabilitated area, with tender love and care, will add to the rich tapestry of recreational opportunities along Freshwater Creek. The results of their community work are real, visible and very rewarding,” Ms O’Mara said.

Treeforce is a hands-on community tree planting group. Tree planting activities are held during the wet season and maintenance and educational activities are held during the dry. These regular activities benefit volunteers by providing a supportive social network where they feel valued and appreciated. The group meets for two hours every second Sunday morning throughout the year

If you are interested in volunteering with Treeforce, visit or learn more about rainforest rehabilitation by purchasing ‘Repairing the Rainforest’ from Treeforce for only $10 (postage not included) email:


Indigenous workshops in the Wet Tropics

Rainforest Aboriginal people from across the Wet Tropics have been developing their skills in project planning and grant writing. This will assist them in delivering projects in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. 

The Authority developed two workshops specifically for Rainforest Aboriginal people. The workshops aimed to increase the skills and confidence of Traditional Owners to design projects and seek funding to implement them.

The project planning workshop held in May used participatory techniques to encourage involvement and facilitate group learning. Participants learned how planning their projects can help to create a shared vision within their community, improve their chances of successful completion and empower community members.

“I could see a lot of value in planning out our projects step by step, and involving more of the mob in the process to build everyone’s skill levels,” said Malanbarra Yidinji Traditional Owner Allison Halliday.

Participants developed a project idea and over the course of the workshop interactively planned and drafted the details such as project goals, activities and required resources.

In June, the Authority facilitated a second workshop with Rainforest Aboriginal people focussed on refining grant writing skills.

Building on the project planning concepts, participants acquired an understanding of the importance of following grant guidelines, the value of preparation and research and clear budgets.

“Getting good tips about writing final reports and monitoring the progress of the grants that we have, is also going to help our mob to have more confidence in applying for new grants.”

“We know what we want to achieve on country, but these workshops help us know how to achieve it,” said Mamu Elder Alf Joyce.

The Authority is now planning to work closely with Rainforest Aboriginal people to develop and deliver a further series of capacity building activities in 2015-16.


Planting rainforests for the future

An enthusiastic bunch of tree planters attended Rainforest Rescue’s annual Plant a Rainforest weekend on 23-24 May 2015. 

Locals were joined by Rainforest Rescue staff from Mullumbimby, Sydney and the Daintree, along with volunteers from several corporate donors.

Jalunjiwarra Traditional Owners Andrew and David Solomon welcomed the tree planting group to country before the hard work got underway.

About 4000 trees were planted at two sites; the old oil palm block at lot 46 Cape Tribulation Road and a section of Daintree National Park near the Rainforest Rescue nursery. The nursery produces 20,000 young trees each year for rehabilitation of rainforest in the Daintree region.

The weekend completed the plantings at Lot 46 where over 37,000 trees have been planted since 2011.

Lot 46 has been rehabilitated after a massive clean-up of 180 tonnes of rubbish, 120 oil palms and plenty of weeds.

The Daintree Buy Back & Protect Forever Project has now purchased over 25 blocks of private land in key conservation areas which are susceptible to development impacts.

The lots are protected in perpetuity under a Nature Refuge Agreement with the Queensland Government. These blocks help to conserve cassowary habitat and wildlife corridors next to the World Heritage Area. The blocks are also home to a suite of endemic plants and animals on the Daintree lowlands – a living museum of ancient rainforest species.

The Wet Tropics Management Authority has a long history of working with Rainforest Rescue. Rainforest Rescue partners with various government agencies and encourages sponsorship to help conserve Wet Tropics rainforests and enhance ecological connectivity adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Daintree National Park.

The Authority has also worked closely with Rainforest Rescue on the Save the Cassowary campaign and Cassowary Recovery Team.

Connecting in the Wet Tropics

Published: 27th Jul 2015

Share Connect Protect