This article is about a World Heritage Site

Daintree Rainforest

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The Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest is a tropical rainforest in Queensland, Australia. At around 1200 square kilometres the Daintree is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian mainland.[1][2] It is named after Richard Daintree, an Australian geologist and photographer.

The Daintree Rainforest is a main part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.[3] These are some of its ancient flora:

The Daintree Rainforest straddles Cape Tribulation

The Daintree Rainforest itself meets all four natural criteria on the Criteria for Selection to be a World Heritage Site, though it is just part of the Wet Tropics site. The Wet Tropics are one of only twelve natural World Heritage Sites in the world which meet all four criteria. The Daintree area is next to another World Heritage site, the Great Barrier Reef. This makes it the only place in the world where two natural World Heritage Sites meet.

The Daintree Rainforest contains 30% of the frog, marsupial and reptile species in Australia, and 65% of Australia's bat and butterfly species. 18% of bird species in the country can be found in this area. There are also over 12,000 species of insects. All of this diversity is contained within an area that takes up 0.2% of Australia.

The Daintree Rainforest is extremely ancient; it is thought to be over one hundred and thirty-five million years old. About 430 species of birds live among the trees. The primitive flowering plants Austrobaileya scandens and Idiospermum australiense are also endemic to the Daintree.

The forest is north of Mossman, Queensland, on the coast, north of Cairns in the tropical far north of Australia. Part of the forest is protected by the Daintree National Park and drained by the Daintree River.

The Daintree Rainforest is loosely defined as the area between the Mossman Gorge and the Bloomfield River. The roads north of the Daintree River wind through areas of lush forest, and have been designed to minimize damage to the forest.

The Daintree Region is home to a number of rare and endangered species, including the southern cassowary and Bennett's tree-kangaroo. It is listed as an important bird area, but might just as well be listed for its fungi, which are said to be astonishing. Animals include the saltwater crocodile and the musky rat-kangaroo.

The rainforest also holds many ancient plants which have survived from the southern supercontinent Gondwana.

References[change | change source]

  1. Wilderness Society – The Daintree [1]
  2. Queensland Environment and Resource Management. Wet Tropics national parks [2] Archived 2012-08-26 at the Wayback Machine
  3. The site is labelled the 'Wet Tropics of Queensland' [3] Note also, further south on the coast, another World Heritage Site, the 'Gondwana Rainforests of Australia'. [4]