Daintree Rainforest is Facing a Massive Crisis

Daintree Rainforest is Facing a Massive Crisis

Daintree Rainforest is Facing a Massive Crisis
Image Title: Rainforest Trust

Researchers from the James Cook University claims that a number of amazing species in the Daintree Rainforest may become extinct by 2022.

Global warming has destroyed a number of natural wonders around the globe, ranging from the beautiful Great Barrier Reef in Australia to huge ice glaciers in Antarctica. This ruthless destruction is caused by unplanned human activity and the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Another priceless marvel that makes the depressing list of dying wonders is the Daintree Rainforest.

Daintree Rainforest

It is the oldest rainforest (about 150 million years old) on the face our planet and has been around since the time of Gondwana. Found in the wet tropics of northern Queensland, this amazing rainforest is spread across an area of 1,200 square kilometers. Daintree Rainforest is also ranked as the 2nd most irreplaceable heritage site of the world among 173,000 candidates. Due to its immense natural beauty and attraction, it was also included in the Q150 Icons of Queensland, in 2009. Despite being an extremely small part (area-wise) of the continent (less than 0.1%), the Daintree Rainforest is home to 50% of Australia’s bird species, 35% of mammal species, 60% of butterflies, and 41% of freshwater fish species.

You can get all the information about this ancient rainforest here

Latest Research

Climate change is one of the most important issues that need immediate attention of the authorities to save several species from extinction in the near future. According to previous estimates, the wet tropics will lose half of their species by the end of this century, if necessary measures are not taken instantly. The latest analysis indicates that the situation is much more serious than that and sadly, the Wet Tropics Management Authority agrees to these findings by saying,

“Extreme heat is the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area’s coral bleaching event equivalent with some mountain adapted species, like the lemuroid ringtail possum, unable to survive even a day of temperatures above 29 degrees Celsius.”

Australia has recorded some of the worst heatwaves of the region in recent years. Combining these high temperatures with decades of deforestation in these wet tropics, including Daintree Rainforest, has brought up a new challenge for the authorities: various key species of animals are in danger of extinction. Environmentalists have already warned that if this trend continues to flow on its path, the lemuroid ringtail possum may become extinct by 2022. It is an extremely terrifying result because this species is currently not even in the list of endangered species of the world. Researchers believe that it will be the beginning of a series of extinction which will wipe-out the green ringtail possum, river ringtail possum, and tooth-billed bowerbird, one after another.

Lack of Attention

Researchers believe that the future of the Daintree rainforest is not very bright unless global and local authorities work collectively to preserve this heritage site. Having said that, things are not looking good as the region gets minimum attention and budget in comparison to the Great Barrier Reef, a neighboring heritage site. This point was also made in a recent statement of the Wet Tropics Management Authority which said,

“While, understandably, the Great Barrier Reef has received significant funding to address climate change impacts in recent years, investment in terrestrial World Heritage Areas has not been commensurate with the urgency for mitigating climate impacts on their World Heritage values.”

You can get an idea about the severity of the situation in the following video:

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