Stories in this Theme

Whilst many activities require vegetation clearing, the habitat of a threatened species should never be cleared. Threatened species living in a small area are particularly vulnerable to vegetation clearing, which may destroy their entire habitat.

What it looks like: Native Walnut is a rainforest tree that can sometimes grow up to 20 metres tall. It has shiny green leaves that are bluish underneath. Its pale green to cream flowers, which are sometimes perfumed, turn brown as they mature, and produce black fruit.

A wetland is any non-marine environment that is, to some extent, water-dominated. Wetlands can be comprised of standing water, such as in a lake; of flowing water, as in a stream or estuary; or merely of water that saturates the soil for significant periods. They may be fresh or saline, and fed by tidal waters, stream flow or groundwater.
Wetlands may be permanent, or last only a few weeks each year, or a few months every decade or so. Wetlands include the riparian zone and floodplains along creeks and rivers and the vegetation growing in them.

What it looks like: This is a showy Ground Orchid with numerous white flowers on a long tall inflorescence growing from a rosette of basal leaves.

What it looks like: Darwin Palm, also known as MacArthur Palm, is a slender multi-stemmed plant of the rainforest understorey. Its bright green fronds have numerous opposite pairs of long, simple leaflets. It produces large, cascading clusters of bright red fruit.

What it looks like: Climbing Pandan is a large woody climber. Its strappy, sharply-toothed leaves can be as long as 80 cm. It produces brownish male and orange to pink female flowers in separate spikes, and tight, cone-like crimson fruit.

Cattle graziers would like to think that if they look after their pastures and keep weeds and pest animals under control, the rest of the environment can look after itself. To some extent this makes sense; particularly in the rangelands where paddocks still contain reasonable tree cover, and where maintaining the native grass species is as important to cattle as it is to wildlife.

More information on the dry season in Cape York Peninsula.

Life is tough for plants living in the seasonally dry tropics. Soils are poor and for half the year the land is parched and prone to fires while for the other half it is inundated with water.Only plants which have been able to adapt to this punishing regime can grow here, having developed certain characteristics to make this possible.