An essay on the flora and fauna of the Daintree forest

Essay by BYLuoHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2008

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

The Daintree rainforest is located about two-hoursdrive north of Cairns in Queensland. The northernsection near Cape Tribulation borders the GreatBarrier Reef. The Daintree River ¯ows through thesouthern section. The Daintree is part of the WetTropics World Heritage site, listed in 1988 becauseit satisfied the following four criteria:· it shows major changes in the Earth's evolution· it shows ongoing evolution· it has outstanding aesthetic value· it is the home of endangered species, forexample, the cassowary.

Much of the Daintree is inaccessible wildernessin the higher areas, but very accessible in the hillsand river ¯ats of the lower eastern parts. It has oneof the wettest and warmest climates in Australia.

Over 400 species of trees have been identified inthe Daintree and a substantial number are foundonly within its borders. There are many otherferns, orchids, palms, mosses and lichens.

Over the last 200 years, human activity hasreduced the Daintree rainforest to one-®fth of itsoriginal area.

This has resulted in plant andanimal species becoming endangered and extinct.

The rainforest has been cleared for logging,mining, farming, roads and tourism.

AUSTRALIAThe DaintreeNational Parkis locatedwithin the WetTropics WorldHeritage area.

THE DISAPPEARINGRAINFORESTClearing the rainforest has resulted in:· changes to food webs and ecosystems· the lower storey receiving more sunlight,allowing eucalypts to enter the rainforest· less leaf litter and therefore fewer nutrients· fertilisers from farms running off into the sea,killing coral· the invasion of exotic plants and feral animalsSome rare animals live in the forest, includingtwo species of tree kangaroos and the Daintreering-tailed possum. The rainforest houses theworld's largest moth and the smallest bat. Thecassowary is endangered, with only about 50 birdsremaining in the Daintree. There are 1.5 millionidentified species of animals in the Daintree. It isestimated there are six million unidentifiedspecies of animals.

Humans have introduced animals into theenvironment, such as cats and pigs, which killnative animals or destroy...