Kurranji Bubu (Lot 46) completes restoration journey, becomes protected Nature Refuge

 In Conservation, News, Rescue, Restoration, Tree Planting

Nature Refuge status granted in moving ceremony with Traditional Owner and Yalanji Elder, Andrew John Solomon

Kurranji Bubu (Lot 46 Cape Tribulation Rd) now represents a best practice model of restoration, studied by ecologists worldwide, and provides a scalable model for future rainforest restorations. 

While it is just one parcel of land, it represents a vital contribution and connection to one of the oldest continuously surviving rainforest lineages in the world.

So, the next step in this journey was to ensure this land was forever protected. 

In March 2021, Lot 46 was granted nature refuge status, a legally binding conservation status which ensures this land will be protected in perpetuity by Rainforest Rescue and the Queensland State Government.

Kurranji Bubu

With Lot 46 successfully restored and protected, and well on its way to being folded back into the Daintree, the local Yalanji language committee granted Lot 46 the traditional name of Kurranji Bubu (Cassowary Land).

“Getting this important parcel in the heart of the Daintree well on its way to being restored to its former glory is an incredibly important moment and really speaks to the core purpose of Rainforest Rescue’s work. “Having the support of the Traditional Owners who’ve granted the land this beautiful name is a perfect capstone for this achievement. We’re extremely fortunate and grateful to share this responsibility and success story of Kurranji Bubu with all our supporters.” – Branden Barber, Rainforest Rescue CEO 

Andrew John & RR Team at Naming Ceremony Kurranji Bubu

Andrew John Solomon & RR Team at Naming Ceremony – Kurranji Bubu

Read more on Branden’s experience at this special naming ceremony here.

Now considered a property synonymous with the Rainforest Rescue name, Kurranji Bubu continues to repay our efforts with extraordinary success! 

Read more on this incredible restoration project here.

History of Kurranji Bubu (Lot 46) restoration

So how does a decrepit and abandoned oil palm plantation get restored to lush rainforest on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park?

Well, to start with – it doesn’t happen overnight!

In 2010 Rainforest Rescue purchased Lot 46, Cape Tribulation Road, Diwan property (just under 28 hectares) in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. 

Lot 46 sits literally in the heart of the Daintree, watched over by towering Thornton’s Peak which links the lowland rainforest with upland rainforest systems.

Properties in the Daintree Rainforest often hold special significance either because of their location, size, connectivity to the World Heritage Rainforest, or their need to be rehabilitated. 

All of these described Lot 46.

For years, this property had sat neglected after its years of abuse, uncomfortable in the midst of the surrounding intact rainforest.

Lot 46 was in serious need of restoration and we accepted the fact that Rainforest Rescue was taking on a major obligation, but there was something about this property that resonated with us and steeled our determination. 

To even begin the restoration project 180 tonnes of rubbish including cars, caravans, boats, and decrepit farm equipment had to be removed.

Kurranji Bubu (Lot 46) 2010 vs 2021

Then came the restoration. 

In our Daintree nursery, we greatly increased our capacity to provide for Lot 46’s needs.

Following this, 37,000 trees across 146 species were planted on-site by many, many staff and volunteers under the watchful eye of world-renowned rainforest ecologist Dr. Robert Kooyman, who was responsible for monitoring the planting design he implemented and assessing growth rates of the trees and canopy closure. 

Kurranji Bubu (Lot 46) Tree Planters

Slowly but steadily the rainforest canopy was restored, and over a decade later Lot 46 has now been returned to its rightful place as an ecologically significant parcel of rainforest land.

Watch ABC Landline’s special report on the restoration of Lot 46 here.

“Having been involved in the restoration of this special piece of land since Rainforest Rescue purchased it over a decade ago, Lot 46 has secured a permanent place in my heart. I am enormously proud of what has been achieved. This beautiful young rainforest stands a proud tribute to what can be realised when passion, care, and recreating the rainforest structure come together.” – Madeleine Faught, Rainforest Rescue Chairperson 

Now, this ecological hot spot teems again with native plants and wildlife, including the Pygmy possum, Bennett’s tree-kangaroo, and the endangered Southern Cassowary – a species worth preserving for its ancient history and extreme importance to the health of the rainforest as they are the only animal capable of eating the largest rainforest fruits and dispersing their seeds over great distances.

Cassowary - Martin Stringer Photography

Read former Lot 46 Land Manager Joe Reichl’s restoration journal for his firsthand insight on Kurranji Bubu’s journey here.

Kurranji Bubu (Lot 46) Aerial Timeline

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