Fragile Australian Ecosystems

Daintree Rainforest by Jan Calimquim 5/6S


The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world and is a tropical rainforest . 700 species of flora and fauna of the world are only found in the Daintree. It is a World Heritage Area which is protected by an internationally- recognised body. The Daintree Rainforest is a very special enviroment which needs to be protected and respected so it will always be there. This fragile ecosystem is located in Queensland, north of Mossman and Cairns. It was named after Richard Daintree who was a conservationist.


In a rainforest, there are 4 main layers: Canopy, Understorey, Emergent and Forest Floor and there are a diverse variety of plants in the Daintree Rainforest for example: Ferns, Conifers, Cycads and Palms. 40 species of fern are found in the Daintree like the Tree, King and Tassel fern. They are known as vascular plants which circulate water enternally.There are also 6 types of Conifer. One of them is the Bull Kauri, the biggest conifer in the world, Bunya pines and Plum pines. Cycads are palm like, cone-bearing evergreen plants. Some species of Cycads have poisonous leaves and are toxic. The tallest one in the world is the Hope Cycad and the smallest is the Bowenia. Palms, they actually first came from India however, they were in Australia for millions of years. Fan Palms thrive the wet season and a Wait-a-while palm climbs which has sharp hooks. Water can be drunk from the stems of the palm.


A variety of species of unique animals can be found in the Daintree such as Reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians and mammals. Tree Kangaroos, Bats and Tropical Bettongs are a few mammals found and Cassowaries are found in the Daintree. Cassowaries are endangered animals because there are only 1,200 left in Australia. Venomous snakes, aggressive crocodiles and lizards are some reptiles. These animals have a particular layer for them to stay in. Freshwater fish such as Rainbow fish live in the banks of the Daintree Rain forest. 18% of birds are found only in the Daintree Rain forest.


There are many things people can do in the Daintree. In fact, this attracts a lot of people and more than 400,000 people visit each year. Here are things that people do in the Daintree: walks, accommodation, learning the heritage, jungle climbing, flying fox,Travel to Cape Tribulation Beach, Night touring, Daintree river cruising while searching for a crocodile or visit the popular Daintree discovery center. This is a very popular tourist attraction .


People do a lot of impact to the Daintree Rain forest. Here are some things people do : deforestation, climate change, rural, fragmentation, weed problems, feral animals, logging , development and farming because farmers burn parts of the rainforest. It loses animal habitat. Did you know that tourists that visits the rainforest can actually effect the environment? Well its because that a lot of transport would drive through the area and it is a detrimental environmental force to the vulnerability.

Possible Solutions

We can solve the Daintree Rainforest human impact by donating some money to charities, making posters saying that we should save this very special environment and people could actually plant some more plants, trees and other types of nature in side the area of the Daintree Rainforest. Rules for the tourists should be made before they come in so they can't damage anything like habitats or something precious like a plant.

Interseting Facts

The Daintree Rainforest only covers 0.2% of Australia's Land Mass. This is only a little number of land. Kuku Yalanji, an Aboriginal Indeginous tribe own the land of the Daintree area. This fragile ecosystem is 135 million years old. It is the largest rainforest in Australia and the oldest rainforest in the world. It was a World Heritage Area since 9/12/1988.

Bibliography, The Australian Encyclopedia, David Attenborough Planet Earth and some Rainforest books.