Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (World Heritage)
The World Heritage Site includes 15 national parks and numerous protected areas in Queensland and New South Wales. It has an important flora and fauna of the subtropical and the warm temperate rainforest. The renaming to Gondwana Rainforest refers to the former major continent of the southern hemisphere (Gondwana), which disintegrated into the continents that exist today towards the end of the Mesozoic Era. Visit clothingexpress.org for Oceania territories.
Gondwana Rainforests of Australia: Facts
|Official title:||Protected areas of the temperate and subtropical rainforest in the middle east of Australia|
|Natural monument:||51 scattered rainforest areas, mainly between Barrington Tops, New South Wales and McPherson Range, Queensland, area of 3,664.55 km²; among the national parks and nature reserves, among others. Barrington Tops National Park, Dorrigo National Park, Banda Banda Flora Reserve, Border Ranges National Park, Springbrook National Park, Main Range National Park|
|Continent:||Australia / Oceania|
|Country:||Australia, New South Wales and Queensland|
|Location:||Border area between New South Wales and Queensland, west of Taree and Coffs Harbor, south-west. from Brisbane|
|Appointment:||1987, expanded in 1994, renamed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia in 2007|
|Meaning:||internationally important flora and fauna of the subtropical, warm temperate, cool temperate and coastal rainforest|
|Flora and fauna:||1625 vascular plant species, 150 of which only occur here, last large population of “Hoop Pine” in the Border Ranges National Park; Mammals such as Parma wallaby, red-necked and swamp wallaby, gray giant kangaroo, mountain kangaroo, long-tailed rabbit kangaroo, short-billed hedgehog, Australian dwarf gliding pouch, large brush-tailed pouch, spotted-tailed marten, gray-headed flying dog and long-winged bat; 270 species of birds, 38% of all Australian bird species, including Soot barn owl, brown-headed lacquer bird, wonga pigeon, velvet gold bird, rare black lily-tail and rust-bellied thicket bird; 45 species of frogs|
Green treasuries down under
Like islands of the wilderness, the rainforest parks are scattered in the densely populated, agricultural coastal region between Newcastle and Brisbane. As a real treasure trove of botanical and zoological rarities, they protect a colorful mosaic of subtropical and temperate rainforests, which are partially interspersed and bordered by the eucalyptus forests typical of Australia. They offer shelter to numerous plants and animals that are to be regarded as “living fossils” of our planet, such as the aracauria species “Hoop Pine” or egg-laying mammals such as the platypus, which lives up to its name, and the short-billed hedgehog, which is similar to the our native hedgehog rolls up into a prickly ball in case of danger.
The basin around Mount Warning, surrounded by steep mountain walls, is the collapsed giant crater of an extinct shield volcano, which, like Mount Ebor and Mount Barrington further south, covered the sedimentary rock with its lava flows more than 20 million years ago. Gnarled, moss-covered trunks of mighty “Antarctic southern beeches” give the temperate rainforests of the higher elevations, such as in Dorrigo and New England National Park, an enchanted character. Elsewhere – in the semi-darkness, under the closed canopy of leaves of the subtropical rainforest – it greens, blossoms and twines in a breathtaking abundance.
Mighty strangler figs begin their growth high up in a fork of a branch, then wrap around their “host” with a network of stem-forming roots until the latter dies and the hollow, stately grown strangler fig rises in its place. Giant trees like “Yellow Carabeen” with their spreading buttress roots are covered with mosses, lichens and orchids, and hanging gardens of antler and nest ferns thrive in the treetops. In the middle tier of the rainforest, creepers and climbing plants predominate; Small groves of tree ferns and so-called “walking stick palms” with drooping red “fruit chains” grow in dark, damp lowlands and ravines.
Most of the animal residents of the rainforests can be heard rather than seen. Perhaps the call of the blackhead rocker, which resembles a crack of a whip, breaks the silence, or the cat singing of the little green cat bird, whose top is bright emerald green and whose chest is colored yellow-green, can be heard. But maybe the black lily tail, which is only native to this region, an excellent voice imitator, is doing his joke. Scratch marks on the forest floor indicate the presence of a grouse or a rare rust-bellied thicket bird searching for insect larvae. In the undergrowth the gaze falls on a small “forecourt”, which is mainly decorated with blue objects, of the arbor of the silk arborebird, built from thin branches, with which the black-feathered, in the light silky violet shiny males tries to attract a female. Strikingly red-blue feathered Pennant Parakeets, red-green colored king parakeets and motley all-color lorises crowd around rest areas and camping sites in the hope of feeding.
Most native mammals only wake up at dusk: Red-necked wallabies and gray kangaroos occasionally graze in clearings on the edge of the forest. During a night walk with headlights, a fox kusu feasting on buds in a fork of a branch, and sometimes even a wandering ring-tailed butler, can be tracked down. A giant gliding bag glides almost silently from top to top, while a large long-nosed bag rummages in the thicket for insects and mollusks. Rare, remarkable frog species, such as the “roach tree frog”, are also at home in the rainforests. This leaves its habitat high in the treetops only to mate. In the land of marsupials, hip bag frogs should not be missing, the males of which carry the tadpoles on their flanks in bags “created” for this purpose.