Welcome to the threatened species edition - Wet Tropics eBulletin
Edition 4: Friday, 22nd September 2017
The Wet Tropics Learning Landscape eBulletin profiles current and emerging Wet Tropics research and related management and policy issues.
This 4th edition focuses on the threatened species and ecological communities of Australia
Spotted tailed quoll
The Wet Tropics - a microcosm of species diversity and decline
White lemuroid ringtail possum
Photographer: Mike Trenerry
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is a microcosm of the broader biodiversity crisis facing our nation. Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Recognised as one of seventeen megadiverse nations, Australia has more natural World Heritage sites and more known endemic species than any other country.
Disturbingly, we also have the largest documented decline in biodiversity of any continent over the past two hundred years and lay claim to the one of the worst rate of mammal extinctions in the world.
The Wet Tropics is the second most irreplaceable natural World Heritage site on Earth. It is a significant centre of local endemism and is also a hotspot for threatened plants and animals.
The rare Xanthostemon formosus is found only in the Daintree area.
Beyond the periphery
A National Environment Research Program study has examined the important role that peripheral areas play in conserving Wet Tropics rainforest fauna. The study found a number of endangered frog species are persisting better in peripheral areas than in adjacent core rainforest habitat.