Tropical Wetlands

The Tropical Wetlands is Forever Wild’s first reserve. Covering a core 5000acres, the reserve is adjacent to the Hann Tableland National Park and contiguous with vast cattle stations spanning >300,000 acres. The Tropical Wetlands is a truly incredible property with key qualities for our Wildlife, Economies and Human Spirit program areas.

The reserve has permanent lakes, swamps and creeks and an incredible mosaic of old-growth savanna woodland. The landscape holds one of the highest mammal diversities in the Cape York region, over 220 species of birds and diverse elements from Aboriginal and early settler European culture.

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Wilderness Values

The Tropical Wetlands property is a mix of wetlands and a rick mosaic of old-growth savanna woodland. The woodlands and wetlands have a very high biomass and are considered a net contributor to carbon storage.

Human Spirit

The Tropical Wetlands protects areas of significant cultural heritage, such as intact section of the Hodgkinson Goldfields track, and important Indigenous sites, Forever Wild uses Tropical Wetlands to provide access to support programs for disadvantaged youth and mental & emotional health for vulnerable people.The property is also used to support Forever Wild’s Wilderness Arts program, with a diverse array of very low-key, nature-oriented music events planned each year.

Wildlife

Wildlife on Mareeba Wetlands is incredibly diverse, and the property has some of the highest avian diversity anywhere in Australia. Boasting over 220 species recorded, the highest bird count in a single day is 98 species. We know the property is critical habitat for Buff Breasted Button Quail, one of the world rarest birds, and there is a healthy population of the endangered Northern Quoll. The property acts as a critical resource for wildlife during the dry periods from May – November. Ecological management of the Reserve is based on extensive science and applied knowledge. Mareeba Wetlands is the location of our breeding and release program for the Endangered Gouldian Finches.

Wilderness Economies

The local economic input from this reserve is substantial. Ultra-low impact tours designed for human beings to connect with wilderness connect people with spectacular starscapes, isolated camping and nature photography. There are strict limits on the number of visitors allowed. These tours employ local people in local jobs. There is limited cattle grazing allowed on the reserve with a local grazier, which assist to manage invasive grass species.

These activities fund the Reserve management and our local community programs, including annual community concerts.

Special Values

The Tropical Wetlands reserve is where we will build Forever Wild’s Forever Wild sanctuary, a wildlife health, rescue and rehabilitation centre for wildlife from across Northern Australia. This will be complete with staff and visiting researcher accommodation. We are in the process of raising funds to equip the centre, run it and cement its place as one of the world’s leading veterinary and wildlife heath facilities for wilderness species.