Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is a remnant rainforest. This means it has never been completely logged. Although trees such as red cedar, white beech and bunya pine were selectively harvested in the late 19th century, many of the trees you see today are hundreds of years old.
The type of ecosystem that thrives here is known as subtropical lowland rainforest.
Many of the fauna (animals) and flora (plants) that live in subtropical lowland rainforests are only found between southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales. They are endemic – meaning they do not live anywhere else. This bioregion is a climatic overlap, featuring species from the tropics in their southern-most range and species from temperate areas in their northern-most range.
This overlap is incredibly biodiverse.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is home to:
- 391 plant species – seven of these are listed as rare, vulnerable or near-threatened
- 141 bird species
- 68 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians – eight of which are near-threatened or threatened
- As yet unspecified number of invertebrate species
- As yet unspecified number of fungi
88% of subtropical lowland rainforest has been cleared since European settlement, making this reserve an island of ecological importance within the fragmented landscape.
Although the reserve is in healthy condition, due to its small size and lack-of-connectivity, some species that once lived here are now locally extinct, including the long-nosed potoroo and rufous bettong.
Fortunately, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is protected and threats are monitored and managed.
Visitors and locals alike care deeply for this rainforest. We are sure you will too.
Learn about biodiversity
Above and below, biodiversity is all around you at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. Focus species have been selected for visitors to learn more about the amazing creatures who survive and thrive in our rainforest.