|Location||Crater lakes National Park, Queensland|
|National priority area:|| Community skills, knowledge and engagement
Biodiversity and Natural Icons
|Partners:||Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and local landholders|
Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands
A 13 hectare vegetation corridor in Queensland's Crater Lakes National Park is being restored with the help of Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands (TREAT).
A life-giving link for wildlife in Queensland's Crater Lakes National Park, Donaghy's Corridor, is being restored with the help of volunteers from TREAT - Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands - using $11,500 from Caring for our Country's Community Action Grants. What began with a local meeting on the Atherton Tableland in 1982 to encourage people to plant native rainforest trees has turned into a group of more than 500 active members.
The 13 hectare vegetation corridor links the isolated fragment of the Lake Barrine Section, Crater Lakes National Park to the west with Gadgarra State Forest in the east.
In the past, the land had been cleared leaving much of the remaining rainforest as isolated remnants. As a result, the small areas could not maintain the same number of species as continuous rainforest.
TREAT members meet weekly at the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service's Lake Eacham nursery, volunteering more than 4000 hours in 2009-10 to raise more than 50,000 tree seedlings. More than half a million native plants have been propagated at the nursery in the past 20 years.
Tree planting is conducted during the wet season, with more than 15 000 trees planted by members each year on more than five hectares. A major tree planting project to connect Curtain Fig National Park with Lake Eacham section of Crater Lakes National Park, which started in 1998, is more than 80 per cent complete.
As the 15,000-plus planted rainforest trees mature, shading and natural recruitment is gradually reducing the opportunity for weed establishment. Other works include: excluding cattle grazing by fencing and providing alternative watering facilities; establishing plants that attract seed dispersing animals to help recreate a diverse ecosystem; and planting windbreaks to protect plants along the corridor.
At Donaghy's Corridor a contractor will be engaged to install water run-off diversion humps and drains and harden the track surface with compacted gravel on three creek crossing lanes to stop ongoing soil erosion and sediment discharge into Toohey Creek. TREAT will work with the landowner to eradicate weeds including lantana that have established along the corridor impacting on its ecological function as a landscape linkage. When completed the corridor fences and creek crossing lanes will continue to be maintained by the landowner. A field day will be conducted in 2012 to promote the sustainable farming practices and ecological benefits of this project to the wider community.
Donaghy's Corridor is now protected in perpetuity by a Nature Refuge Agreement under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act. The corridor not only provides a much-needed wildlife link but also a demonstration site for the successful integration of agriculture, forestry and conservation for the mutual benefit of the community.
Native wildlife will benefit from the development of the corridor, including the threatened southern cassowary. The Donaghy's Corridor initiative shows what can be done to secure the long-term future of diverse flora and fauna by a committed community with a common vision.