Archive for December, 2007
The Cooper Valley has been dumped on with exceptional rainfall over the past few days. Since Boxing Day, over 700 mm has been recorded in our portion of the catchment.
Last night I was unable to collect three travellers that had booked onto the nocturnal tour because of flooding. Another two, one from Hamburg and the other from Switzerland were awe-struck by the deluge, but eventually I had to abandon the tour. Flooding, landslides and tree falls were commonplace throughout the area.
According to our most outspoken local adherent to Al Gore, business owners within the Daintree Cape Tribulation rainforest community need to start taking some responsibility and planning for a very different future to what we are used to.
We cannot anticipate a never-ending tourism market into the foreseeable future I suspect we have 5-years at the most, and perhaps as a community we need to start planning our futures. The extremely rapid pace of change in the Arctic (and Greenland and Antarctica) are indicative of what is happening – these areas are described as the ‘canaries in the coal mine’. Since 1999 – Cape Tribulation has had an almost doubling of rainfall – far more cloudiness and this year, for the first time in recorded memory, currawongs have appeared on the lowlands.
It is true that currawongs Strepera graculina made an unexpected appearance this year. Top-knot pigeons were also much more abundant and remained within the area far longer than expected. And Kookaburras Dacelo novaeguineae have been frequenting the cleared areas in the Cooper Valley. However, this atypical representation is more likely due to the abundance of natural resources in the Daintree rainforest, relative to those areas south that were so severely damaged by Cyclone Larry in March of last year.
As I photographed this individual, a spotted catbird Ailuroedus melanotis did its utmost to evict the intruder, calling incessantly and finally dropping vegetation from above. The catbird has two nestlings nearby and I wondered if the Kookaburra’s notorious nest-thievery was familiar to the catbird.