Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / QLD / Cathy and Garth’s Refuge

Cathy Retter and Garth Owen are the owners of a property situated in Kuranda, approximately 20km north of Cairns, Queensland. The property is a home and wildlife sanctuary, and was registered with Frog Friendly Neighbourhood, a local program managed through Kuranda Envirocare. The property was also registered with Land for Wildlife until the program ceased.

Cathy and Garth plan to subdivide the property into four larger blocks and two smaller blocks, with the aim to establish Voluntary Declaration covenants on the four forested larger blocks to better conserve the property’s natural values. Ultimately, they wish to permanently protect the property’s regenerating rainforest as a sanctuary for wildlife whilst establishing a forested boundary for the neighbouring Jum Rum Conservation Reserve.

The property spans approximately 2.8 hectares and shares a 300-metre boundary with Jum Rum Conservation Reserve. Originally comprised of cleared farming land, around 50% of the property has naturally regenerated for 50 years, providing habitat for rainforest species. The other half of the property is comprised of cleared grassland with two residential dwellings.

Vegetation is largely comprised of regenerating tropical rainforest, providing habitat for over 140 native species including noisy pittas (Pitta versicolor), chowchillas (Orthonyx spaldingii), eastern whipbirds (Psophodes olivaceus) and Victoria’s riflebirds (Ptiloris victoriae). A southern cassowary (Casuaris casuaris) has also been sighted within 300m of the block.