Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / QLD / Bellenden Road Forest

Brett Krause and Sally Densley are the owners of Bellenden Road Forest, a property located in Murrigal, approximately 130km south of Cairns, Queensland. The old growth forest originally on the property was selectively harvested in the 1970s, and 2/3 of the property was cleared in the 1990s. Since purchasing the property, Sally and Brett have regenerated around 95% of the rainforest vegetation. The property is currently a residence and refuge for wildlife, and it is Sally and Brett’s intention to continue eradicating invasive weeds and restoring the native vegetation.

The property is rectangular and covers 4 hectares of forest on flat land. The native forest is fragmented from surrounding forested areas; however the existing vegetation has a high biodiversity with over 100 floral species identified. Vegetation consists of swampy, seasonally flooded rainforest and woodland species including forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), broad-leaved (Melaleuca viridiflora) and weeping (M. leuecadendra) paperbark, pink euodia (Melicope elleyarna), black (Acacia mangium) and red (A. flavescens) wattle, white cheesewood (Alstonia scholaris), hard milkwood (Alstonia muelleriana), white ash (Alphitonia petriei), screw pine (Pandanus spp.) and swamp mahogany (Lophostemon suavolens). A range of palm species are also present including the Queensland fan palm (Licuala ramsayii), Alexander palm (Archontophoenix alexandere), wait-a-while palm (Calamus muelleri) and solitaire palm (Ptychosperma elegans).

Over 100 native faunal species are present on the property including agile wallabies (Macropus agilis), mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis), bandicoots, lace monitors (Varanus varius) and Ulysses butterflies (Papilio ulysses). A vast array of birdlife is also present including southern cassowaries (Casuaris casuaris), orange-footed scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt), kingfishers, fig parrots (Cyclopsitta diophthalma), butcher birds, lorikeets, bush-stone curlews (Burhinus grallarius) and owls.