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MALANDA FALLS VISITOR CENTRE
Things to look out for in September
Watch out for our amazing Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroos. It is the most
southern of the two Australian species.They are seen on a regular basis in
our small patch of forest. One of the best places to see them in the wild!
They are kept in captivity at the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas, two
zoos on the Gold Coast and nowhere else in the world.
The tree kangaroo has given its name to the endangered rainforest
type that was once common on the fertile Tableland soils. Mabi
forest derived its name from the Yidin name for the tree kangaroo
which is still found in these rainforest remnants. The Ngadjon
people prefer to use the spelling Mapee, to show that while the
word was shared between language groups it was not pronounced
the same way. Complex Notophyll Vine Forest, Type 5b was first
described by Yungaburra botanist, Geoff Tracey. Common plants
have small leaves and are deciduous or semi-deciduous during the
drier months - starting in September.
Pictured is a small black bream or sooty grunter. The Upper
North Johnstone is teaming with them, and the Falls was a
good place to catch them, though fishing is not allowed now.
The dark colour varies with age and location. They can grow to
4kg, but are usually caught under 1kg.
Being a vine is a useful strategy in a rainforest … getting to the
light quickly without having to make a big trunk. So it’s not
surprising that most families of plants have climbing
representatives, including climbing pandans. The park has two
species of climbing pandanus … a slender leaved one and the
broader leaved one on the river’s edge. The photo shows the
colourful flower, which is followed by a soft red edible fruit.
In the rainforest, tree leaves are up to 30m away in the canopy and
timber workers learnt to identify trees by the appearance of the
trunk. One of the distinctive trunks on our walks is the local
melicope. Look for pale corky bark. It is closely related to the Ulysses
Butterfly tree also found on the Tablelands. The beautiful blue
butterfly feeds on the nectar of the pretty pink flowers of both
species.