In 1993 Bush Heritage purchased an outstanding 8.2 hectare block of fan palm forest in the lowland rainforests of the Daintree. Lowland rainforest is one of the most diverse habitat types on earth. It's also one of the most depleted.
Fan palm forest. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
In the Daintree more than half of the lowland rainforest on private land has been cleared, resulting in the loss of wildlife and plant species.
Fan Palm Reserve protects rare mesophyll vine forest dominated by the spectacular fan palm Licuala ramsayi. At least 20 plant species of conservation significance also occur on the reserve.
The nationally endangered Southern Cassowary uses the reserve and plays a critical role in the regeneration of the forest.
Cassowaries are the only birds capable of swallowing the large seeds of some rainforest trees, such as the cassowary plum (Cerbera floribunda). On their travels, the birds then pass these seeds in their droppings and thus disperse the rainforest species.
Reserver Overseer Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
Feral pigs and weeds are the main issues faced by reserve overseer Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
Her husband, pig expert Peter Heise-Pavlov, regularly traps pigs and removes them from the reserve.
Siggy has also been controlling weeds, revegetating the margins of the reserve and conducting research on the impact of pigs on the rainforest.
Siggy will lead the first field trip for supporters to the Fan Palm Reserve in October 2006. If you're interested in visiting this beautiful tropical rainforest, please watch for dates in the next issue of Bush Heritage News.