Restoring a rainforest habitat linkage in north Queensland: Donaghy’s Corridor

Authors

  • Nigel I. J. Tucker,

  • Tania Simmons


  • Re-instating habitat connectivity at the Donaghy’s site has allowed many plants, vertebrates and invertebrates to colonise newly created niches and has improved local community understanding of the value of ‘defragmenting’ landscapes.

Nigel Tucker is a consulting Environmental scientist, Principal of Biotropica Australia (PO Box 866 Malanda, Queensland 4885, Australia; Tel: +61 7 4095 1116; Email: nigeltucker@biotropica.com.au). Tania Simmons is engaged in natural resource management on Cape York Peninsula (Email: kanuka_creek@bigpond.com). The work reported in this article was undertaken during the first author’s management of the Qld Parks and Wildlife’s Centre for Tropical Restoration.

Abstract

Summary  Donaghy’s Corridor is a 1.2 km × 100 m planting of rain forest species on the Atherton Tableland, Queensland, designed to link an isolated fragment (498 ha) to adjacent continuous forest (80 000 ha). Vegetation and fauna monitoring commenced immediately after the linkage was completed. Vegetation surveys showed 119 plant species established in the linkage in 3 years, and 35 of these were not known to occur within the extant linkage either as planted stock or as natural individuals existing prior to project commencement. There were differences between the fauna trapped within the restoration, adjacent open pasture habitats, forest interior sites and forest edge sites. Differences likely reflect variation in species habitat preferences and the habitat suitability of the planted vegetation. Now over 10 years old, Donaghy’s Corridor has developed a complex forest structure, with the tallest planted stems exceeding 20 m in height. This feature article provides information about the planning, implementation and monitoring of the linkage, and shows how restoring landscape and ecological connectivity can be a locally effective strategy to counter forest fragmentation.

Ancillary