A map showing the location of Fan Palm Reserve in far north Queensland.

Established: 1993
Area: 8.2 hectares
Location: 50km N of Port Douglas
Traditional Owners: Kuku Yalangi

Detailed map >

For such a small parcel of land, Fan Palm Reserve punches well above its weight.

Boyds Forest Dragon. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
Boyds Forest Dragon. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
Rescued from developers in 1993, the reserve's most striking visual feature is its fan palms, from which it draws its name.

Growing up to 15 metres high, the palms form a dense canopy in the mesophyll vine forest that covers Fan Palm Reserve. Elsewhere, much of this forest type has been cleared for farming and it's now uncommon.

Fan Palm is also important as Bush Heritage's only reserve within Queensland's Wet Tropics World Heritage Area – a national biodiversity hotspot that's home to more than half of Australia's bird species and 60% of both our butterfly and bat species.

One of these bird species, the nationally endangered Southern Cassowary, plays a critical role in keeping tropical ecosystems alive through seed dispersal and germination.

All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

What we’re doing

The dense canopy on Falm Palm Reserve. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
The dense canopy on Falm Palm Reserve. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
Thankfully, the vegetation of Fan Palm Reserve is robust and requires no direct intervention to maintain its integrity.

One threat to the ground storey comes from feral pigs, which descend on the area between March and September. Ploughing up ground beneath fan palms and the taller rainforest trees, they leave a trail of destruction, compacting soil and leaving barren patches of earth.

The only solution is trapping, and that's where pig expert Dr Peter ‘Piggy' Heise-Pavlov comes in, playing an invaluable role in keeping these feral animals in check on the reserve by trapping the pigs and removing them.

Exotic fruits of the forest. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
Exotic fruits of the forest. Photo Siggy Heise-Pavlov.
The fringe of the reserve is vulnerable to lantana infestation, which we're working to control.

Cultural values

The area around Fan Palm Reserve was traditionally used by Kuku Yalangi women for gathering edible plants.

This reserve contains cultural heritage materials of interest to Aboriginal people. In the future, we will carry out a cultural values assessment to better understand the significance of this reserve.

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