Student research funding supporting rainforest protection now available

The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation is offering funding to support student research that enhances the protection of tropical rainforests through better understanding and sustainable practices.

Research students will be able to access up to $5,000 for PhD and masters projects and up to $2,000 for honours projects.

The funding will favour projects with a specific focus on the impacts on flora and fauna, ecosystem recovery, revegetation, and ongoing management programs for Australia's Tropical Rainforests and protection of rare, threatened and vulnerable species and regional ecosystems. Projects that also address impacts, recovery and threat abatement, for example weed and pest incursion of rainforest ecosystems following Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, will be particularly welcome.

Max Shepherd, a director of the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation, said the foundation was pleased to make this funding available.

"The foundation can see great value in the research the students undertake and is pleased to assist them in research efforts which enhances our understanding and leads to sustainable coexistence with our rainforest assets," Mr. Shepherd said.

PhD student Damian Morrant has almost met his target of tracking 20 wild dogs as part of his research into the genetic status of the animals in the Cairns area through the funding of GPS collars via the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation. These collars record the animal's location a number of times a day, over many months, enabling Damian to study their activity patterns. The results of the research will improve understanding of a number of issues relating to wild dogs in theWet Tropics and help guide land managers toward more-effective wild dog management.

Since inception, the foundation has provided $238,000 to research projects.

Organisations or individuals are invited to submit applications to be considered for this funding opportunity. The closing date for submissions is Friday 18th May.

To assist with the preparation of submissions, a Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF) 'Guidelines: Applications for Funding Students' document is available upon application. To receive a copy, please contact the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation on email email/info)( or phone (07) 4038 1999.

Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the SRF's Public Fund Management Committee who are experts in education, conservation, environmental management and business.