Daintree Rainforest

The Fragile Eco-system

By Lara Clarke

Rainforests are thick forest of tall trees, located in tropical areas (near the equator), where there is alot of rain. Most of the flora in rainforests are found in 4 layers : the emergent layer, the canopy layer, the understory layer and the forest floor.


Daintree Rainforest is Australia's largest rainforest with its tall, luscious sweeps and beautiful scenery located north of Cairns. It is undoubtedly Australia's most beautiful and special tropical rainforest. It is so uniquely special that on the 9th December 1988, it was added to the list of world heritage sites. What makes it so special is that it is one of the two most bio diverse eco-systems on the planet.


Location

Found on Queensland's coast, far north of Australia, it is known as one of Australia's most magnificent scenes. Daintree Rainforest is located at 2333 Cape Tribulation Road, Queensland Australia 4873. Longitude- 145'47''s Latitude- 16'29''s. It is approximately 1200km2 (460 square miles). It's so big that it covers almost 0.2% of Australia.


Flora

Daintree Rainforest has the greatest range of plants found anywhere in Australia, because it is possibly one of the oldest existing rainforests. As it is over 110 million years old, it has about 3000 species of plants, and of these 700 species are ONLY found in Daintree. There is a variety of flora at Daintree.


Daintree Rainforest has the tallest Cycad in the world called "The Hopes Cycad". On the other hand, it is also home to the smallest Cycad in the world "The Bowenia".


There is 40 species of ferns native to Daintree. They are a "unique" plant by their look, size and shape. Each species has their own way of growing and producing. Three main species of ferns are the King Fern, the Tree Fern and the Tassel Fern.




Fauna

Fauna in the forest comes in a great variety including size, shape and colour. There are Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and freshwater fish. The forest supports around 800 species of vertebrates which are animals with a backbone. Each layer of the rainforest has it's specific animals due to the height and what it provides. The forest has about 430 species of birds including 13 species found no-where else in the world.


One particular bird is the Southern Cassowary which is a flightless bird. It is an endangered species due to logging, vehicles and predators. They are black, blue, brown and red-orange. This unique animal is important to the forest because it's droppings contains seeds that make the soil rich and helps the flora grow.





Tourism

Tourism at the Daintree Rainforest provides each visitor with the understanding about the significance of the land, plants and animals. The tourist attraction consists of tours, experiences, family friendly services, retreats, packages and accommodation.

Tourists leave happy, satisfied and amazed by the beauty and natural environment.



Threats and Dangers

Even though Daintree Rainforest seems like the perfect getaway, it still faces threats and dangers of its own. Logging is the rapid cutting down of trees for money. Mining clears the land of it's natural resources. Farming clears the land to make room for more crops and paddocks. Even tourism affects the forest because transportation needed for visitors, creates carbon dioxide, that will pollute the air. These dangers can hurt the eco-system and harm the plants and animals.


In conclusion Daintree Rainforest is a peaceful environment that should not be harmed. One false move and this could all be extinct!


Daintree Rainforest Conservation