Kur-World Environmental Values Fact Sheet

EIS baseline studies have been completed and mitigation strategies are being developed in collaboration with government and community stakeholders. The results of these studies will be presented fully in the EIS and preliminary information has been summarised in Fact Sheets which are being released progressively in local newspapers to enable easy access.
This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the environmental values identified on the proposed KUR-World development siteand details of how these values will be managed.

What’s there now?

Flora and Fauna

Flora and fauna studies have confirmed the presence of a number of species listed under Commonwealth and State legislation. The most high profile is the Myola Treefrog (Litoria myola). Breeding habitat of the Myola Treefrog has been
confirmed in Owen Creek, Haren Creek (a tributary of Owen Creek) and Cain Creek. All these creeks are in the north western section of the project area. The species is known from a number of sites around Kuranda. Of an estimated total population of 750 individuals it is estimated that 10% occurs on site.

Another high profile species is the Myola Palm (Archontophoenix myolensis). As this species is difficult to distinguish from other Archontophoenix species without fruiting bodies, all Archontophoenix are being treated as Myola Palm. All potential A. myolensis individuals observed were located below the high bank of streams - either in the creek bed or on the bank.

Other listed species are as follows:

  • Tapping green eyed tree frog (Litoria serrata)
  • Greater large-eared horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus philippinensis)
  • Spectacled monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus)
  • Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
  • Macleay’s fig-parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma macleayana)
  • Tube-nosed insectivorous bat (Murina florium)
  • Rufus fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons)
  • Bare-rumped Sheathtail Bat (Saccolaimus saccolaimus nudicluniatus)
  • Spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus)
  • Daintree Gardenia (Randia audasii)
  • Slender Ginger (Alpinia hylandii)

Other important species may occur on site, athough evidence of their presence was not found during surveys. These include the Southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) and the Northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). Habitat of both species occurs in the remnant vegetation on site. Irrespective of the presence of listed species, the remnant vegetation and riparian areas associated with watercourses provide quality habitat for a range of Wet Tropic flora and fauna. In total over 170 fauna species and 260 flora species have been recorded on site.

Vegetation Communities
Five remnant vegetation communities occur on site covering over 400 ha (60% of the site), these include vine forests and forests/woodlands dominated by Cadagi (Corymbia torelliana), River Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) and
Clarksons Bloodwood (Corymbia clarksoniana). Corymbia torelliana open forest and Eucalyptus tereticornis open forest to woodland are listed as Of Concern under the State legislation.

Connectivity and the Envirolink Corridor
The southern section of the site is part of the Envirolink corridor, a collection of areas of remnant vegetation and non-remnant vegetation on private and public land that links the northern and southern sections of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Although this corridor is broken by both natural (Barron River) and constructed features (for example the Kennedy Hwy and residential areas) it provides connectivity in terms of both movement and gene flow for many species of flora and fauna. The area is also the transition zone or ecotone between the wetter rainforest communities of the Lamb and MacAlister Ranges to the east, and the drier sclerophyll dominated woodland communities to the west. Whilst the northern section of the property will be developed, the southern section comprising the majority of the remnant vegetation and the Envirolink Corridor on site will be managed as an Environmental Area. Use of this area will be limited to nature based activities (walking, riding, education and some camping).

What are we doing about the impacts?

Protecting the values of the property

Constraints mapping

Studies to date have generated a constraints map that has been used to guide development of the site. Eighty percent (80%) of the site will be retained as natural vegetation comprising:

• Remnant vegetation - approximately 60% of the site is remnant vegetation and forms part of the Envirolink Corridor.
• Frog habitat – approximately 20% of the site is designated as breeding and foraging habitat of the Myola tree frog or Reef Regrowth watercourse vegetation (to be retained to protect water quality of the frog habitats downstream).  One hundred metre buffers have been defined to each side of sections of Owen, Haren and Cain Creeks identified as breeding or foraging habitat.
• Buffers - these buffers will also protect habitat of other important species such as the Myola Palm and Southern cassowary.

What are the opportunities?

Future Management of the Enviro Link Corridor
To date cattle have been removed from the remnant vegetation in the southern section of the property (the Envirolink Corridor). There are also historical clearings and tracks in this area which are contributing sediment loads to waterways downstream, these areas will be rationalised and/or rehabilitated to improve water quality. A number of feral animals were also identified in fauna surveys (packs of dogs and pigs). A pig and dog control program is already underway. In the longer term, monitoring of condition and biodiversity values will be required to direct ongoing management activities if this area is to reach its full potential and ideally see the return of the Southern Cassowary. Discussions have been held with nationally recognised conservation land managers and State government agencies regarding joint management arrangements.

Download here KW-Environmental-Values-Fact-Sheet.pdf