We are proud to announce that our property is now a Nature Refuge, the highest conservation status for private land in Queensland (comparable to National Parks).
Future owners (hopefully in the far distant future!) will be bound by this conservation agreement.between the QLD government and ourselves.
With increasing average and extreme temperatures, the Herberton Range is, together with the tops of Mt Bellenden Ker and Mt Bartle Frere, a most important refugium for many heat-sensitive species in the Wet Tropics (e.g. Lemuroid and Green Ringtail Possums, Golden Bowerbirds).
Professor Steve Williams of James Cook University has undertaken intensive studies over many years in that regard. You can listen to his talk on “Climate Change and Biodiversity of the Wet Tropics” by visiting the “Tree-kangaroo and Mammals Group” website: https://www.tree-kangaroo.net/documents or youtube:
We harbour a faint hope that local councils will eventually awake to the fact that efforts like ours should be encouraged.
After some rain (cyclone Owen didn’t have much effect on us), many more birds are breeding now. There are more insects around for feeding their offspring. We also have a large number of honeyeaters taking advantage of the mass-flowering of Red Mahoganies.
The Victoria’s Riflebirds are still displaying, although they have started their yearly moult, and the males don’t look their best.
That additional row of emerging wing feathers looks quite attractive!
Despite the lack of fruit at the moment, some Superb Fruit-doves have decided to nest here. We observed one nest (from a long distance!), where the chick fledged after only one week, which is normal for Superbs.
In typical pigeon style, the nest is a very flimsy affair. No wonder, the chick doesn’t stay!
An unusual visitor to the cabin was a Varied Sitella. They normally occur in drier forests (Springvale Road is more their habitat), and we’ve seen them once before in the Casuarinas in the western part of our forest.