News & Media
How amazing are the flora and fauna of the Daintree Rainforest?
With your help, we too got up close and personal with jungle animals such as the Common Tree Snake, a gorgeous Jewel Spider, Boyd’s Forest Dragon, the lovely blue Fairy Wren, some mighty Green Ants and a graceful Ulysses Butterfly. Plus your shots of this incredible looking camping spot, our aerial walkway and the beach from high above – we are in awe!
Ever seen a brightly coloured fruit on the rainforest floor and wondered what it is and whether it is edible?
Chances are, it is not, and the only thing that should be eating it, is a cassowary!
McLean’s Creek runs through the very heart of the Daintree Discovery Centre and is an abundant and diverse source of life.
With royal blue necks and shaggy, jet-black feathers, cassowaries look like no other birds on planet earth.
They are what is known as a keystone species, responsible for literally helping to grow our very precious Daintree Rainforest.
The Spiny Rainforest Katydid is a very unusual rainforest katydid.
The body and legs have numerous thorny spines and antennae are very long.
The insect is greenish above with different shades of green and brownish colours providing excellent camouflage; the underside is pale.
How many steps does it take to get to the top of the 23 metre high Canopy Tower at the Daintree Discovery Centre?
112 to be exact, but it is well worth the effort, with views for miles and the sound of some of our most beautiful songbirds.
The Daintree Discovery Centre has re-committed to funding critical research by James Cook University on lowland tropical rainforest.
The research is part of long term, Australian-wide monitoring of different ecosystems to discover how they are responding to environmental pressures.
The Daintree Discovery Centre has announced its continued sponsorship of the work, pledging $6000 a year to James Cook University until 2028.
Daintree Discovery Centre general manager Brian Arnold said James Cook University had set up monitoring equipment at the centre, making it one of the SuperSites in TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network) – Australia’s continent-wide environmental observatory.
“The Daintree Discovery centre site includes camera monitoring to identify wildlife. Phenocameras face out over the canopy and take hourly pictures to track the seasonal changes in the leaves and flowers of the rainforest,” he said.
There are 10 major sites in Australia collecting information on fauna, flora, climate and carbon flux.
Mr Arnold said towers at the site house instrumentation to measure exchanges – or flux – of carbon dioxide, water vapour and energy between the terrestrial ecosystem and the atmosphere.
“This important research will uncover the changing carbon and water balance in the Daintree Rainforest as it copes with climate change.”
The Daintree Discovery Centre’s contribution to the research project, including this latest agreement, will total $120,000.
The information provided by the Australian SuperSites contributes to data collected by more than 400 towers around the world, known as FLUXNET.
James Cook University’s Carbon Flux Micrometeorological Research Station project is led by Dr Mike Liddell, an associate professor of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences. Dr Liddell is based in Cairns.
Cassowaries are an endangered species found throughout the rainforests and nearby woodlands and swamps of North Queensland.
These large flightless birds play an important role in the dispersal of rainforest plant seeds.
Cassowary populations face a variety of threats and, as habitat disappears, human contact with cassowaries is increasing.
• Never approach cassowaries.
• Never approach chicks—male cassowaries will defend them.
• Never feed cassowaries—it is illegal, dangerous and has caused cassowary deaths.
• Always slow down when driving in cassowary territory.
• Always keep dogs behind fences or on a leash.
• Always discard food scraps in closed bins.
Ever seen an Australian Tarantula hunt its prey?
Meet Nora, she joined our Daintree Discovery Centre bug family five months ago.
She has settled in very well, and some days she even shows us her hunting prowess:
The Giant Rainforest Mantis (Hierodula majuscula) is one of Australia’s largest species.
Adult females can reach 70mm in body length and are very powerful.
In the wild they prey upon a wide variety of insects, and other invertebrates.
They are capable of catching small geckos and frogs if the opportunity arises.
As nymphs their colours vary, ranging from red-brown through to bright green.
By the time they mature they usually adopt a rich leaf-green colour.