Biodiversity refers to the variety of all life forms, including animals, plants, micro-organisms and fungi; their genetic diversity and the marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems that they form.
The Cairns region is renowned for its high biodiversity of international significance, and areas of tropical rainforest that are among the oldest continually surviving areas of rainforest on the planet. There are an estimated 3000 plant species found in the region, and around 250 of these are rare or threatened. The iconic wildlife of the region includes cassowaries, tree kangaroos, quolls, echidnas, tree frogs and crocodiles among many other species.
We are lucky to have this diversity of life in our region and Council is committed to protecting and restoring natural areas to conserve this biodiversity. We can all help to protect and restore the biodiversity of the region by getting involved in activities that create or restore habitat in our cities, towns and rural areas. More information on local biodiversity and what we can do to protect it is available on the links below.
Council’s Biodiversity Strategy
The Cairns Biodiversity Strategy ( PDF, 4.47 MB ) was adopted by Council in April 2012. The Strategy outlines a clear plan for how Council will work to protect and restore biodiversity in the region over the next 10 years. It also includes information about the plants, animals and ecosystems found in the region.
- Information on the plants, animals and ecosystems of the Cairns region is included in the Biodiversity Strategy 2012-2022. Further information is available below.
- Additional information is available from the external links below.
- Plant list for the Cairns region (see related documents section)
- Plants and animals of the Wet Tropics – Wet Tropics Management Authority
- Key to identifying rainforest plants – CSIRO
- Gardening with local native species can create a beautiful garden which attracts native animals such as butterflies, birds and frogs. The abundance of native species in our region means there are many options for creating a native garden. A wide range of local native plant species are available from nurseries that specialise in native plants. Council also propagates native tree species for revegetation projects and a limited number of these are available to the community. Contact Council to find out more.
- Included below are some links offering more information.
- “Grow Me Instead” - Avoiding invasive species and finding alternatives for your garden
- “Think Smart Plant Smart” brochure
- If you would like to get involved in tree planting days, beach clean-up days, or caring for injured wildlife, there are many local groups that you can contact. Some options are listed below.
- Cairns Urban Landcare
- Conservation Volunteers Australia
- FNQ Wildlife Rescue
- Frog Decline Reversal Project
- Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society
- Society for growing Australian plants
- Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland
- Cairns and Far North Environment Centre