Australia declares its largest tropical rainforest park
August 6, 2008
Autralia will protect its most pristine rainforest a nearly twenty year battle between conservationists and land owners, according to a statement from the government of Queensland.
The 160,000-hectare Kulla National Park is located in the McIlwraith Ranges on the Cape York peninsula and contains the largest tropical rainforest in Australia. The forest houses 57 percent of Australia’s butterflies and is seen by scientists as a critical refuge for biodiversity against the impact of climate change.
“Kulla” is an acronym for the for the initial letters of the Kaanju, Umpila, Lamalama and the Ayapathu people — the four indigenous groups with historical connections to the area.
Rainforest in northern Australia
“The McIlwraith Range area has great scenic beauty, with spectacular escarpments, gorges, waterfalls and rainforests,” said Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. “The flora and fauna is fantastic — for example there are at least 16 plant species that are only found in this area and it will also protect the largest remaining undisturbed stands of hoop pine in the world.”
“It’s also the only region in Australia where you will find links to Papua New Guinea wildlife such the cuscus mammal, electus parrots and emerald green pythons.”
20,000 hectares will by used for cattle pasture by local landowners.